RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) — Prosecutors say the story told by a man charged with second-degree murder does not match the physical evidence found at the house where his girlfriend's body was found.
Quejay Armijo, 43, was bound over for trial in 2nd District Court after a preliminary hearing in Carbon County Circuit Court.
Encampment Police Chief Derreck Craig said he was dispatched to the house shared by Kellie Covey and Armijo on March 13, 2002, after a 911 call that someone had shot or was going to shoot his girlfriend.
"When I arrived on scene I found Quejay Armijo curled up in a fetal position on the front porch, saying, 'Oh my God, my Kellie's dead. I killed my Kellie," Craig said.
In taped interviews, Armijo later told Craig that Covey had aimed a revolver at her head, apparently threatening suicide, and the gun went off when he tried to take it from her.
But Craig told the court that evidence gathered by investigators, including the autopsy, was inconsistent with Armijo's story.
For example, investigators believe the muzzle of the gun was in contact with Covey's skin when the gun fired. Investigators also claim the bullet's angle appears to be inconsistent with the height difference between Covey and Armijo; Armijo is about 6 feet and Covey stood about 5 feet, 4 inches.
Additionally, while Armijo allegedly told Craig the gun was in his hand when it went off accidentally, investigators say the Rugar Blackhawk 44 Magnum has a safety mechanism preventing it from firing, even if the hammer is pulled back, unless the trigger is pulled.
County Attorney David Clark asked Craig if Armijo had to be holding the gun and pulling the trigger for it to fire.
"In my opinion, yes," he said.
A State Crime Lab report said no usable fingerprints were found on the gun and the gun had no "biological residues" on it. Craig said the lack of biological residue is very unusual.
According to information provided Tuesday, Covey and Armijo had fought earlier in the evening at a bar in Encampment, where Covey struck Armijo in the face with her fist and Armijo pushed her to the ground.
Craig said he found the house in disarray, including finding Covey's clothes on the front lawn, and a potted plant broken on the kitchen floor. Investigators believe Covey threw the plant.
A charge of voluntary manslaughter was dropped and the second-degree murder charge filed after the State Crime Lab report was provided to prosecutors.
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