Arrest made in connection with 2021 murder of ranch hand in El Paso County

· Mar. 11, 2023, 5:09 pm
The El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.

El Paso County Sheriff's deputies and Colorado Springs police on Wednesday arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with the death of a man who worked as a ranch hand at Freedom Acres where a dispute between neighbors has taken place in recent years.

 Kevin Armondo Charro-Macias has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held at the El Paso County Jail without bond.

Deputies were called to the 6000 block of South Johnson Road in the unincorporated community of Rush on a welfare check call in May 2021, according to authorities. They arrived at the scene to find the body of 43-year-old Donaciano Amaya. 

The El Paso County Sheriff’s office says investigators were able to identify Charro-Macias as a suspect in February through DNA tests.

Amaya, a former convenience store worker, began working at Courtney and Nicole Mallery’s Freedom Acres Ranch in the unincorporated community of Yoder in early 2021. The Mallerys were arrested on felony stalking charges last month. The couple has since been released.  

The arrests were the latest in a two-year-long dispute between the Mallerys, who are Black, and their white neighbors. The Mallerys complained that their neighbors have constantly harassed them. Court records show that Courtney Mallery filed six restraining orders against Teresa Clark. All six were dismissed.  Nicole Mallery filed two more against other neighbors. Those were also dismissed.

The Rocky Mountain NAACP and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission have supported the Mallerys.

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