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Man charged with murder in shooting death of homeless person over marijuana

(Photo: Denver Police Department)

DENVER — A Louisiana man has been charged in the shooting death of a homeless man in early November, the Denver District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Makhail Anthony Purpera, 29, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated robbery.

The district attorney’s office said that on or about Nov. 5, Purpura shot and killed 54-year-old Wayland Busby while trying to steal marijuana and other belongings from him.

Busby was living in a tent near South Platte River Drive and West Dartmouth Avenue when his body was discovered by a Denver Parks ranger who was conducting a routine check of the area.

Purpera is in custody at the Denver Detention Center. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 23.

The district attorney’s office said Purpera was also wanted in Gonzales, La., for two counts of attempted murder in connection with an August shooting.