A Las Animas County jury on Wednesday, August 7, found Domenic Damelio guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping for kidnapping and killing Burchard Murrice Mitchell, whose body was found on May 9, 2018, near Las Animas County Road 43.7, south of Aguilar.
Jury deliberation lasted less than an hour, according to reports, following a weeks long trial that started with jury selection on July 26.
Several witnesses told police in 2018 that Mitchell was begging them for $120 in connection with drugs and was being held by gunpoint by Damelio.
Mitchell was shot nine times. Bullets found at the scene were matched to a .357 found on Damelio, according to the Third Judicial District Attorney. Damelio was arrested on May 23, 2018 at his home in Trinidad.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 7 at 1:30 p.m. Currently, a pre-sentencing investigation report is being done, yet the required sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison. Considering the conviction for first-degree kidnapping, concurrent, or consecutive sentencing could be considered.
“We understand that for the family it will not bring back their relative. Even the conviction will not ease pain, or bring closure, but it is a good first step. We believe justice was done,” said Las Animas County District Attorney Henry Solano.
Solano praised the work done by Assistant District Attorney Matt Holmes and Senior District Attorney Cynthia Kowert. This was Holmes first murder trial, while Kowert has considerable experience.
“I personally want to thank all the different law enforcement agencies and deputies and the CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation). Without their hard work and dedication we might never have made it this far. I also want to thank Cynthia Kowert and Matt Holmes. They worked long hours and very hard on this and were sensitive to the family and performed exceptionally well. And the staff in the Trinidad office not only worked on this case, but the other cases going on, so I want to thank everyone there,” said Solano.