Murder charge filed in De Beque man’s death

By MIKE WIGGINS
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Prosecutors filed a first-degree murder charge Tuesday against a Rifle man accused of beating a De Beque man to death with a sledgehammer handle.

Kenneth Wright, 43, also was charged with a single count of first-degree assault and two sentence-enhancing counts of committing a crime of violence.

Wright is suspected of hitting 52-year-old Steven Burdick at least twice with the wooden handle during an argument at Burdick’s home on the night of Aug. 2.

Wright told investigators he attacked Burdick after Burdick taunted him about sleeping with his wife. Wright said he had been living at the house for a matter of days, doing odd jobs for pay around the ranch until he could find regular work, according to court records.

Following the attack, Wright said he left the house, used methamphetamine and called 911 after his father urged him to turn himself in, according to court records.

Wright is due back in court on Sept. 10. He is being held in the Mesa County Jail on $1 million bond.


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