Court documents: Teens forced to kneel execution style before shootings
Two teens were forced to kneel on the ground execution-style before they were shot point-blank, according to newly-released court documents detailing the grisly double-slaying.
The papers detail the harrowing final moments before a 15-year-old and 16-year-old were killed.
The bodies of
were left along Old Pueblo Road during the March shootings. According to court papers obtained by 11 News, the two Coronado High School students had been shot several times. Shell casings littered the scene.
Over the following weeks, 10 people would be arrested in connection to the shootings.
The arrest affidavit says the victims ran away from home on the night of March 11, one day before their bodies were found. Natalie's mother reported her missing to the Colorado Springs Police Department.
One of the last people to see them alive informed police that they had arranged to get a ride that night with Gustavo "Tavo" Marquez, who would later become the first of the 10 suspects to be arrested.
"Neither victim had been confirmed alive since leaving with Tavo," the affidavit states.
In his first interview with police, Marquez allegedly claimed he and the victims were driving around looking for a party and split up when Natalie wanted to get cocaine. He told police, according to the affidavit, that he let Natalie borrow her car and that was the last he saw of her or Derek. Two men he didn't know returned his car to him later, he reportedly said.
But a phone number belonging to Marquez put him near the location Natalie and Derek were found on the last day they were alive, according to the affidavit.
In the second interview with police, the affidavit says Marquez admitted to detectives he was with Mario Garcia-Bravo and Diego Chacon when they picked up Derek and Natalie, then drove them to Joseph Rodriguez's house. Rodriguez threatened one of the teens with a crowbar, then the men drove the teens around the city before finally ending up on Old Pueblo Road.
Chacon allegedly forced Derek and Natalie out of the car on Old Pueblo Road and made them take an execution position.
Garcia-Bravo allegedly turned his gun on Derek next. After Derek fell over, Garcia-Bravo shot at him several more times, Marquez reportedly told detectives.
The men drove to a Shell gas station on Pikes Peak and Hancock to get gas in order to prove they were in Colorado Springs, the affidavit says.
Marquez allegedly told detectives he was instructed by Garcia-Bravo to lie in the first interview both so he had an alibi and so he didn't mention Garcia-Bravo.
Alexandra Romero, later arrested for kidnapping and accessory, allegedly told police during an interview that she had only wanted to scare Natalie.
According to the affidavit, she said her idea was for Marquez to pick her up and bring her to an apartment, where the men would beat her up and intimidate her.
But when she met up with the men at a party later that night, Chacon allegedly told her the teens were dead.
"They are gone! [Garcia-Bravo] did one and I did the other," she claimed he said.
Romero told detectives she believed Chacon's role was to murder the teens because he was carrying the only gun, Garcia-Bravo's role was as kidnapper and murderer, and Marquez was the kidnapper because he could get Natalie in the car. Marquez and Natalie were reportedly dating.
Derek was only killed because he was with Natalie that night, she said.
A motive was never explicitly stated in the court documents, but one interview offers a clue.
A friend of Rodriguez claimed he had threatened to kill an acquaintance of theirs someday because that person had stolen a purse and other items at a party.
The name of Rodriguez's alleged target was redacted in the affidavit, as Natalie's and Derek's names were throughout the documents. In the context of the interview, it seems likely that person was Natalie.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office announced just over a week after the shootings that Marquez, 19, had been arrested on numerous charges, including first-degree murder and kidnapping.
A few days later, 18-year-old Chacon, 18-year-old Rodriguez, and 20-year-old Garcia-Bravo joined Marquez in the El Paso County jail. Twenty-year-old Romero was taken into custody around the same time.
Alander Wilson, 43, marked the sixth arrest when he was taken into custody on suspicion of attempting to influence a public servant.
Twenty-one-year-old Angelita Prado was arrested after Wilson on charges of second-degree kidnapping.
to second-degree kidnapping, as well as drug and eluding charges for leading police on a chase before her arrest, with meth in the car. She will serve four years in prison, followed with three years of parole.
Breeana Dahlberg, 20, and Carlos "Tink" Meza, 28, were arrested on March 31 on charges of second-degree kidnapping and possession of a weapon by a previous offender, respectively.
Finally, on April 1, 17-year-old Endo Velarde turned himself in. He was charged with attempt to influence a public official in the double murder and was one of only two suspects -- Wilson being the other -- to bond out of jail.
In the aftermath of the murders, El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jacqueline Kirby said it was an especially difficult case for law enforcement.
"This is the first time, I believe in the history of our office, that we've seen a double homicide that included juveniles. This hits close to home. A lot of us have children, and we have children those ages and we hug them a little tighter when we go home at night."
Derek's mother told 11 News she spent all of March 12 not knowing where her son was and tried to get in touch with him when news broke bodies had been found.
"I saw the news thing about the missing bodies and then nobody knew where he was and I couldn't get ahold of him ... That's when it hit. Then I got the call," she said.