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Sister of murdered Ignacio woman arrested on suspicion of arson

Felicia Maria Munguia, 30, is accused of burning a car in front of house

The sister of a pregnant Ignacio woman who was found murdered in December was arrested on suspicion of arson Friday in Ignacio and appeared Monday in court.

Denver resident Felicia Maria Munguia, 30, is accused of second-degree arson for burning a rental car in front of the home previously shared by her deceased sister Raeanna ‘Nikki’ Burch-Woodhull and the man accused of killing her, Luis Raul Valenzuela, 34. It is also where a memorial is laid for Burch-Woodhull.

Raeanna “Nikki” Burch-Woodhull

Valenzuela, 34, has been held in the La Plata County Jail awaiting trial for suspected first-degree murder since his arrest Dec.3.

According to the arrest affidavit filed by the Ignacio Police Department, Munguia and two other women, one of whom was Munguia’s 21-year-old sister Louisa Woodhull, were stopped walking down the street after police responded to the car fire at 1:50 a.m. Friday. Munguia was arrested and taken into custody.

The affidavit went on to state that Woodhull told police they had gone to the home at 610 Browning St. in Ignacio to burn it down, but that a “mistake” was made and the car caught fire instead. Munguia told police that her “baby daddy” had rented the red 2021 Hyundai Accent, which was burned, for her to drive to Durango to attend a court hearing regarding Valenzuela.

Munguia appeared Monday in a 6th Judicial District courtroom via a video feed from the La Plata County Jail for her first advisement hearing on the arson allegation. She chose to represent herself, which the judge said was highly unusual for someone in custody. Munguia said she wanted to choose her own counsel at a later date.

Munguia requested the judge release her on a personal recognizance bond, because she said it is her first felony charge, and then added – “I’m in the same facility as the man who murdered my little sister.”

The judge read Munguia her rights and explained that if she is later charged with second-degree arson a class-five felony, that it carries a potential penalty of one to three years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $100,000.

Munguia said she understood her rights and then took exception to three women in the courtroom that she could see via the video link.

“I believe those three women talking to the prosecutor are people who have been harassing me,” Munguia said.

The prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office requested a mandatory protection order requiring Munguia to stay 100 yards away from the house she allegedly attempted to burn, asked for mandatory alcohol and drug testing should Munguia be released on bond, and then requested the judge impose a $5,000 bail for Munguia’s release.

It was noted by the court that Munguia had failed to appear in court multiple times going back to 2010 through 2019, and that she had previously been convicted for driving without a license and theft. The judge then called the arson allegations a “heat of passion” situation.

The prosecutor followed by introducing one of the three women Munguia had taken exception to in the courtroom as a family member of Munguia’s who wanted to address the court.

“Not my family,” Munguia said as Ronalynn Tiznado of Ignacio approached the microphone to address the court. “They have been harassing me for months.”

“She has been making threats and she is very violent,” said Tiznado, who is the adopted sister of the deceased Burch-Woodhull. “With her past and not showing up ... she doesn’t live around here, she lives in Denver so she could flee and threaten to blow things up.”

Tiznado added that a cat had been burned alive and killed during the fire.

“I was intoxicated,” Munguia interrupted. “I went to visit my sister’s shrine.”

The judge cut Munguia off and said she was not to make any statements about allegations and that Munguia needed representation. The judge went on to say that it was a passionate situation and that Munguia had no significant criminal record but “considering the seriousness of the crime” she was imposing the mandatory protection order and a $2,000 bail.

After the advisement hearing ended, Tiznado spoke to The Durango Herald.

She said her adopted-sister, Burch-Woodhull, grew up with her and her family in Ignacio and that her mother raised the girls. She added that Munguia was not raised with them and just randomly showed up.

Tiznado said gas was spilled all over the yard and the car, which is why the house wasn’t burned down but the car was.

“Felicia has mental issues, she’s not stable,” Tiznado said. “She just popped up and goes over there and tries to burn the house down. She goes over to the memorial and messes things up. And she burned a cat alive in front of the memorial and stabbed it in the head with a stick.”

Tiznado went on to say that Munguia tries to represent Burch-Woodhull and the family but that she doesn’t, and that Munguia started GoFundMe accounts supposedly for Burch-Woodhull’s children, then raised $5,000 to $6,000 that was never given to the children.

What Munguia is doing by trying to get her own justice looks bad on our family, Tiznado said, and I believe she is trying to tamper with the case by burning the house, which is evidence.

“I don’t want anything compromising that case (against Valenzuela),” she said. “Maybe next time they will ask for a mental evaluation because she needs help. I don’t think she will stay away from Ignacio and I think she poses a danger to the community.”

Munguia spoke during Valenzuela’s advisement hearing in December saying in part – “I’m not going anywhere and this is going to end the way it needs to end.”


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