Suspect in fatal beating outside bar arrested in Denver

A man wanted in connection with a fatal beating in downtown Grand Junction was arrested Friday afternoon in Denver.

Sahr Benjamin Mbawa, 27, surrendered to Denver police around 4:30 p.m., without incident, according to Grand Junction police.

According to Denver City Jail records, Mbawa was booked on suspicion of a separate offense of misdemeanor false reporting to a police officer.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the fresh charge was lodged against Mbawa upon his arrest, or was related to an outstanding warrant. Denver Police Department Lt. Matt Murray said the fresh charge was lodged by Denver police.

Murray declined comment on the circumstances surrounding Mbawa’s surrender on Friday.

Although he was arrested late Friday afternoon, Mbawa wasn’t booked into the Denver City Jail until after 7 a.m. on Saturday, according to Denver records.

Mbawa was wanted on suspicion of second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the death of 32-year-old Richard Martinez, who died of injuries from a fight around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Main and Sixth streets.

According to an arrest affidavit, Mbawa and Martinez were both inside Quincy Bar, 609 Main St., prior to the fight, and the two were among a group who went outside the bar after an altercation involving a third party.

Witnesses described Martinez repeatedly being punched and kicked.

The affidavit also alleges Mbawa and another man were heard minutes after the beating at a Clifton gas station laughing and talking about the fight.


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