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Three suspects arrested for attempted murder in Durango

Victim shot in arm at local motel

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with an attempted murder early Monday morning at the Budget Inn in north Durango.

An arrest affidavit identifies the suspects as: Rex Nelson, 38; Autumn Brassard, 23, of Durango; and Vedoniz Tavia Begaye, 28. It is unclear in the report where Nelson and Begaye live.

Durango police were called to the Budget Inn, 3077 Main Ave., around 2:30 a.m. Monday for a report of a person who was suffering from a gunshot wound.

When officers arrived, they found the victim in the 3100 block of Main Avenue with a gunshot wound to his left arm. The victim was identified as 22-year-old Kenneth Platero.

Platero told officers he had been staying at the Budget Inn and was visiting people in another room when Nelson, Brassard and Begaye arrived and began accusing him of “talking (expletive)” about them.

The situation escalated with Platero and Nelson getting into a physical exchange. Platero told officers he forced Nelson out of the room.

Nelson returned, however, with a 20-gauge shotgun, Platero told police. He told officers he tried to get out of the room but was shot by Nelson in the left arm.

Platero said he was able to exit the room and flee on foot, but the three suspects chased him in a 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe owned by Brassard. Platero said the three were shooting at him as he ran with a shotgun and a handgun.

“(The suspects) all said that they were going to kill him,” the police report says. “He did not know who was driving but told Officer Meraz that earlier in the evening Autumn and Rex showed him multiple firearms.”

Officers were able to locate Brassard’s car in the east 100 block of 31st Street with a 20-gauge shotgun shell on the ground next to the driver’s door and .22 caliber shells on the front seat.

While officers were on scene at the Budget Inn, Nelson walked up without a shirt, with his shorts and shoes wet. He was placed in handcuffs and taken to La Plata County Jail.

Around 7:30 a.m. Monday, Brassard reported her car stolen from her residence at the Iron Horse Inn, 5800 Main Ave. Officers went to Brassard’s apartment at the Iron Horse Inn and arrested her along with Begaye.

Brassard, when questioned by police, initially said her vehicle had been stolen and she was not at the Budget Inn. She later admitted to being at the Budget Inn room at the time of the shooting, and that she fled with Nelson, according to an arrest affidavit.

Brassard said she reported her vehicle stolen in an attempt to cover Nelson’s tracks.

“Autumn changed her stories several times during the interview and denied firing a gun at (Platero),” the report says.

All three suspects were charged with attempted first-degree murder, a Class 2 felony. Bail was set at $50,000 for all three suspects.

Durango police Cmdr. Ray Shupe said Tuesday officers are still piecing together Platero’s statement and evidence collected at the scene.


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