Man killed, suspect arrested in west Denver stabbing


Jack Martinez

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DENVER — A 33-year-old man was killed in a stabbing after an argument about a dog on Thursday, the Denver Police Department said.

The stabbing happened near Knox Court and West Ellsworth Avenue in the Barnum neighborhood about 4 p.m.

The victim, Jesse Tafoya, was found on the front porch of the residence. He was taken to Denver Health Medical Center but was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner released his name Friday afternoon.

Police arrested Jack Martinez, 61, for investigation of first-degree murder. He was found to have a large laceration on his head and was also taken to Denver Health.

A witness told a detective that she woke up Tafoya so he could get ready for work, according to a probable cause statement.

The witness said she was in the kitchen with Tafoya and Martinez when she became upset because someone was jumping on their dog.

The woman said Martinez took offense to the way Tafoya spoke and told him to take the dog outside.

The witness said Tafoya said something to Martinez that upset him. According to the statement, Martinez grabbed knife from the sink and Tafoya picked up a metal chair and threw it at him.

The woman said Tafoya picked up a wooden chair and backed Martinez into a counter before dropping the chair and punching Martinez in the face.

Martinez fell to the ground and the woman said Tafoya stomped on his head. The two continued to argue when Tafoya hit Martinez again in the face.

The witness then said Martinez fell on the ground and got on top of Tafoya. The woman then said she saw the man bleeding heavily from his neck area and then called 911.

Anyone with information is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

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