DA seeks extradition of Taco Bell slaying suspect

Mesa County prosecutors are seeking to extradite a California man charged in connection with two murders, including a July 16 crime spree in Grand Junction that saw the fatal shooting of a man at North Avenue’s Taco Bell.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said his office has started the process of obtaining a warrant to force the return of 20-year-old Christian Fuentes, who has been jailed in northern California since July 19. Fuentes, who is fighting extradition to Mesa County, could be handed over to Grand Junction authorities in a process that may take two to three months, the prosecutor said.

Although Fuentes has been in custody in California since July 19, local officials only recently learned that California authorities will not seek to prosecute Fuentes for a parole violation.

“At our request, they have agreed to dismiss the parole revocation to permit our office to extradite,” Rubinstein said.

Fuentes, along with Jaime Cardenas, 19, and Fidel Silva, 24, have been formally charged in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Catherine Fisher on July 13, who was shot while sitting inside a car in East Palo Alto, Calif.

Cardenas and Silva remain at-large.

East Palo Alto Police detective Jeff Liu said Cardenas and Silva are persons of interest, but are not formally charged, in connection with the July 19 shooting death of 26-year-old Hugo Chavez in East Palo Alto.

Fuentes, Cardenas and Silva all have suspected ties to the Norteno gang of northern California, while the two California slayings were gang-related, authorities have said.

Grand Junction police have said the July 16 slaying of Jorge Carrasco, 31, which was among a series of crimes allegedly committed by Fuentes, Cardenas, Silva and 18-year-old Lester Miranda-Davis of Clifton, was also gang-related.

Arrest warrants remain filed under seal and authorities have said little else about the investigation.

Miranda-Davis was a graduate of Central High School in May. District 51 records indicate Fuentes enrolled in 2008, although he never actually attended a local school, according to Christy McGee, District 51 spokeswoman.

Fuentes more recently had lived in East Palo Alto, along with Cardenas and Silva, authorities have said.


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