PHOENIX – A jury today returned guilty verdicts for Christopher Rey Licon (D.O.B. 1/26/1991), accused of fatally shooting his brother and six-year-old nephew and attempting to conceal evidence of the crime. His trial continues tomorrow with the State presenting evidence of aggravating factors which, if proven, will allow jurors to consider whether to sentence Licon to death.
Shortly after 5:40 p.m. on Monday, December 13, 2010, Christopher Licon called 911 to report that he arrived at his brother’s house at 2719 East Broadway Road and discovered him shot dead on the couch. Phoenix Police arrived on the scene and found the victim, Angel Jacquez, with a gunshot wound to the back of his head and a shell casing next to his body. No signs of forced entry to the residence were found.
During the course of their investigation, Phoenix Police Detectives learned that on the morning of December 13, Jacquez and his 6-year-old son, Xavier Jacquez, drove Licon to ASU where he took a final examination, and then drove his son to school at 67th Avenue and Indian School. Jacquez then returned to ASU to pick up Licon and the two returned home. A short while later, Jacquez drove to back to his son’s school, picked him up and returned home.
Police believe that at some point after Jacquez returned home from picking up his son, Licon fatally shot him and that the boy witnessed the shooting. A neighbor later reported seeing a person matching Licon’s description leading Xavier away from the apartment at around 2:45 p.m. on the day of the shooting and hearing the boy cry “I want to be with my Dad, please let me go.” Xavier’s body was found on the morning of December 14 in an alley behind his mother’s house. He had been shot and killed. Next to his body was a nearly complete kid’s meal from Burger King which was missing the toy. The toy was later found along with a 9mm casing during a search of Jacquez’s vehicle, which Licon had been using.
Police also learned that on the day of the shooting, Licon visited a friend, Hector Burruel, and asked him to hold a gun. Burruel put the gun in a shoe box and placed it in his closet. The next day, Burruel learned from others that Angel Jacquez had been killed. Licon had not mentioned this to him even though the two had been friends for six years. Burruel became concerned about holding the gun and went home where he discovered the residence had been broken into and that the only thing missing was the gun Licon had asked him to hold.
On January 10, 2011, a Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted Christopher Licon on two counts of first degree murder, two counts of burglary, one count of kidnapping and one count of tampering with physical evidence. The following month, the State filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty alleging six aggravating factors: the defendant’s prior felony conviction for a serious offense; the especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner in which the offense was committed; the defendant’s commission of the murder while on release for a prior offense; the commission of multiple homicides; the killing of a victim under the age of 15; and the commission of the offense in a cold, calculated manner without pretense of moral or legal justification.
In the verdicts delivered today, jurors found Licon guilty of the lesser included offense of second degree murder for killing Angel Jacquez, and not guilty of one count of burglary for unlawfully entering his brother’s residence with a firearm. He was found guilty of first degree murder for killing his nephew, and guilty of kidnapping the boy. Jurors also found him guilty of burglary for unlawfully entering Hector Burruel’s residence, and guilty of evidence tampering.