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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said a 26-year-old man was arrested in the death of a ranch hand who supposedly worked for a family that claimed harassment by neighbors in the past.

Kevin Armondo Chaparro-Macias is facing a count of first-degree murder after being arrested by sheriff’s deputies on March 8.

Chaparro-Macias is being held without bond at the El Paso County jail, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies respond to welfare check

On May 12, 2021, deputies were called to the 6000 block of South Johnson Road for a welfare check and found 43-year-old Donaciano Amaya dead, the Sheriff’s Office said. Amaya was “also referred to by the media as the ranch hand of Courtney and Nicole Mallery,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

The Sheriff’s Office release said that persons of interest were identified during the investigation but DNA collected at the scene did not match and ruled them out in late April of last year.

On Oct. 10, 2022, the Sheriff’s Office said it received a notification from the Combined DNA Index System about a match from the DNA submitted that connected to Chaparro-Macias.

Statement from El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in the release addressed the media coverage of the Mallerys, the case and its office’s involvement.

“Unfortunately, various media sources and organizations have grossly misreported this case and accused my office of wrongdoing. False allegations such as the homicide victim being found on Courtney and Nicole Mallery’s property, specifically in a chicken coop located in Yoder, Colorado. False allegations of this homicide being a racially motivated hate message toward the Mallerys. And lastly, false allegations the Mallery’s neighbors colluded with my office in an attempt to force the Mallerys to relocate,” the release said.

Mallery family claims ‘terrorism’ from community

The Mallerys, Black ranchers in El Paso County, claimed they’ve been “terrorized” by their white neighbors and others in the predominately white neighborhood, the couple told FOX31’s Talya Cunningham in early February.

The Mallerys were arrested on Feb. 6 after being accused of stalking, petty theft and tampering with a utility meter. Nicole was later released but Courtney remained in jail.

The Sheriff’s Office released some of the audio from phone calls made during the dispute with a neighbor, with whom the couple had an ongoing feud that included several restraining orders issued between the two sides, that landed the Mallerys in jail.

FOX31 will continue to cover the Mallerys’ case and provide updates on the stalking, tampering and theft charges.