Man arrested in New Mexico in connection to fatal Denver stabbing

Authorities identified the man fatally stabbed as 33-year-old Willie Pearson.
3 min. read
A file photo of police tape. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver Police on Friday said a man in New Mexico has been arrested in connection with a fatal stabbing on Colfax Avenue last weekend, which was one of four homicides in the city over a two-day period last week.

Jose Acevedo, 38, was arrested Thursday in Albuquerque in connection to the Dec. 22 stabbing death of a man in the 1900 block of East Colfax Avenue. Acevedo is being held in New Mexico for investigation of first-degree murder.

The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner on Friday identified the man killed as Willie Pearson, 33. His cause of death was listed as sharp force injuries.

Denver Police said in the release the arrest affidavit for Acevedo is will not be made available at this time. The department said it worked with the Albuquerque Police Department to take Acevedo in custody.

Denver Police conducted four homicide investigations by last weekend, including three involving gunfire.

On Tuesday, the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner released the names of the three of the victims. Alpha Balde, 28, and Henry Bizimana, 23, were fatally shot during a triple shooting in East Denver near East Alameda Avenue on Dec. 22.

Police arrested Nicholas Bradley Dansby, 29, in connection with that shooting. He is being held for investigation of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. A Denver Police spokesperson said in a release last week they were not searching for additional suspects in the case.

On Dec. 23, Gabriel Taylor, 20, was pronounced dead at UCHealth Medical Center after being transported from the 4900 block of Titan Court in Montbello. Denver Police spokesperson Doug Schepman said Friday no arrests have been made in this case, which remains under investigation.

The city has witnessed 66 criminal homicides this year, according to Denver Police. There are have been five additional homicides resulting from fatal officer-involved shootings this year, bringing the city's overall total to 71 as of Friday. No charges were filed in the five incidents involving Denver police officers fatally shooting suspects.

The number of homicides this year has surpassed 2017's number. Last year, there were 58 homicides in the city (including criminal and officer-involved shootings).

"Any increase in crime, especially in violent crime, is concerning," the Denver Police Department said in a statement to Denverite on Friday. "One of our goals as a police department is to not just address the 'what' and 'who' of criminal activity, but to learn as much as possible about the 'why' so that we can enhance our prevention efforts. Our analysis of homicides and other crime data throughout the year has led to several new initiatives that the Department will announce in early 2019 with the goal of improving safety for our community."

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