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Durango homicide suspects set for August hearing

Home invasion left college student dead

Three of the four men suspected in a home invasion that left a Fort Lewis College student dead last month are scheduled for a preliminary hearing in August.

Kodi “Maz” E. Kuauhtli, 19, of Phoenix, and Kuauhtleko Garcia, 21, of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Daniel Nelson Wright, 20, of Phoenix, waived their rights to having a preliminary hearing within 35 days of Friday’s setting date in 6th Judicial District Court, which means prosecutors and defense lawyers will have more time to prepare for the hearing and possibly negotiate plea agreements.

All four suspects are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Samuel Gordon; the defendants remained jailed on $500,000 bond each.

At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors must present enough evidence to convince a judge that the defendant is likely connected to the crime for which he or she is charged.

An all-day preliminary hearing for Kuauhtli, Garcia and Kuauhtleko is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 8 in 6th Judicial District Court.

Defense lawyers are receiving evidence in the case, including more than 30 CDs, some of which contain interviews that are five hours in length. It is likely the preliminary hearing will be postponed to give lawyers more time to prepare, according to statements made Friday before District Judge William Herringer.

All three men, in addition to Alvin Noel Flores, 22, of Phoenix, are suspected of hatching a plan to rob Samuel Gordon of his marijuana.

Flores is expected on Monday to request a preliminary hearing date.

The incident occurred about 3:30 a.m. May 24 at Gordon’s home, 253 Jenkins Ranch Road in the SkyRidge subdivision in Durango. Three armed men went inside while one stayed outside.

During the robbery, one of the suspects shot Gordon in the abdomen, possibly while he was reaching for a flare gun in self-defense.

Police have not revealed who pulled the trigger.

Gordon was rushed to the hospital where he died in surgery.

All four suspects were caught in a vehicle leaving the crime scene.

shane@durangoherald.com

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