At first, the June 2009 murder of Billy Ortiz, age 21, seemed apt to be lost in the shuffle. But pressure from his family and friends kept the heat on.
Now, at last, Richard Impellizine, 22, has been found guilty of what the indictment against him portrays as an incredibly coldblooded killing.
On June 5, 2009, according to the indictment, on view below in its entirety, a friend of Ortiz's was getting his haircut at the Galaxy Hair Salon on South Federal when Ortiz pulled up in a black Cavalier. The two were chatting out front when Impellizine, known by the nickname "Boxer," arrived in the area and engaged Ortiz in conversation.
"What do you know about banging?" Impellizine reportedly asked.
"I don't bang," Ortiz replied.
Impellizine apparently didn't like this answer -- because he then pulled a silver-colored handgun from his waistband and shot Ortiz in the head. Ortiz died at Denver Health shortly thereafter.
What prompted this spasm of violence? Impellizine allegedly told friends that he'd originally planned to rob Ortiz of his phone, but wound up gunning him down instead. He then fired at two acquaintances of Ortiz's friend as they sat in a vehicle, striking the car several times, before racing back to a car driven by one Nathan Martinez, aka "Lucky," and escaping.
The pair subsequently fled together to Mexico, but that wasn't far enough away to escape U.S. justice. Yesterday, Impellizine was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, attempted first-degree assault and illegal discharge of a firearm, all times two, plus an attempted aggravated robbery count. He'll face life in prison without the possibility of parole plus between sixteen and 48 years when he's sentenced in March. For his part, Martinez will go to trial later this month on related accessory beefs.
Look below to see a larger version of Impellizine's mug shot, as well as the indictment.
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More from our Mile High Murder archive: "47 Denver homicides in 2011: See where they happened."