PHOENIX – After deliberating for less than four hours, a jury has found Adam Mena Angulo (D.O.B. 5/5/1973) guilty of second degree murder for fatally shooting Leo Chavez, Jr. outside a Phoenix bar in 2004. After remaining unsolved for nearly a decade, the case was re-opened by Phoenix Police in conjunction with the cold case unit of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Angulo is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2, 2016. He faces a maximum term of 22 years in prison.
“Persistence in finding and holding this Defendant accountable has finally paid off,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Today’s verdict cannot replace the loss of innocent life that was wrongly taken, but it can at least provide a measure of justice to temper the grief of the victim’s family.”
On the night of August 15, 2004, Adam Angulo and two unknown subjects drove Angulo’s Chrysler Sebring convertible to Michelle’s bar on the 4200 block of West Van Buren Street in Phoenix. During the course of the evening, another person came into the bar and told Adam that someone had struck his car with another vehicle in the parking lot. The three men then ran outside the bar and began chasing three people, one of whom was later identified as Leo Chavez, Jr.
Witnesses observed Angulo with a handgun and heard shots being fired. Chavez was struck and fell to the ground, after which Angulo and another suspect were seen kicking him while he lay unresponsive. Angulo and the other suspects were seen fleeing the scene in another car.
When responding officers arrived on the scene they detained numerous people and attempted to interview them about the incident without success. Investigators located a handgun in Angulo’s convertible which was still in the parking lot. A female who later identified herself as the mother of Angulo’s child attempted to obtain the car from the parking lot but was stopped by police and questioned. She denied Angulo was present at the bar that night. Investigative leads were ultimately exhausted and the case went cold.
In 2012, the case was reopened by Phoenix Police. Over the course of the next two years, witnesses to the shooting were located who positively identified Angulo as the shooter. The case was then submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for review. On October 29, 2014, the Grand Jurors of Maricopa County indicted Adam Angulo on one count of second degree murder. Investigation into the identity of the other suspects is ongoing.