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Life in prison for man guilty of murder at Aurora sports bar

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AURORA, Colo. — A man who shot and killed another man at an Aurora sports bar was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

Miguel Angel Licona-Ortega, 24, was found guilty last week of Murder 1 after deliberation in the 2017 shooting death of Javier Chacon-Ortega in 2017.

After a four day trial, the jury deliberated about an hour before returning its guilty verdict Nov. 14. Licona-Ortega was sentenced to the mandatory penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“A cowardly, cold-blooded murderer such as this deserves no freedom ever again. As taxpayers, we have decided to fund prisons to protect us from such murderers,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “This is a taxpayer bill for a lifetime of incarceration of a murderer who is in our country illegally. Our criminal justice system does a poor job of tracking how much crime is — or is not — attributable to those who are here illegally. This murder is in part another product of our failed immigration system. Coloradans deserve better.”

Brauchler added, “While the vast majority of those here illegally would never commit such wanton acts, we must secure our border from violent criminals.”

On July 29, 2017, Aurora police responded to the Tierra Maya Bar on Havana Street on reports of a shooting.

Arriving officers found Chacon-Ortega lying outside the door of the bar covered in blood. He was pronounced dead at University Hospital.

The gunman had fled the bar.

The ensuing investigation determined that the victim had challenged Licona-Ortega to a fist fight following threats made to the victim’s brother. As they exited the bar, Licona-Ortega rushed up behind Chacon-Ortega and shot him in the back of the head.

Licona-Ortega proceeded to empty his .38 revolver into Chacon-Ortega’s head as he lay on the ground.

Licona-Ortega then ran to the ride he had arranged in advance of the shooting. Investigating officers learned that Licona-Ortega was a local heroin dealer and apprehended him at his residence the next morning.

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