Matthew Trujillo, seventeen, charged as adult in murder of fellow teen Anthony Benavidez (30)

Update: Last week, we told you about the stabbing death of eighteen-year-old Anthony Benavidez at a Thornton trailer park; see our previous coverage below.

Shortly after their arrival at the scene, members of the Thornton Police Department took a seventeen year old into custody on suspicion of committing the crime, but his name wasn't released owing to his age. Now, however, he's been ID'd as Matthew Trujillo -- because he'll be tried for murder as an adult.

According to the 17th Judicial District DA's office, Trujillo, who will turn eighteen on September 4, was advised of the charges against him at a hearing last Thursday. But several days passed before district attorney Dave Young announced that he'd be put on trial as an adult.

The charge? First-degree murder after deliberation.

No booking photo of Trujillo has been released to date. But he'll make his first public court appearance at 8:30 a.m. on January 21 in Adams County District Court.

Continue for our previous coverage.

Update, 10:58 a.m. January 7: Earlier today, we shared details about a weekend homicide at a Thornton trailer park. Now, the Thornton Police Department has released the name of the victim: Anthony Benavidez, age eighteen. In addition, the TPD reveals that Benavidez died as a result of a knife wound; he'd previously been described as having an injury to his neck. Moreover, the department notes that a seventeen year old in custody for the crime is expected to be charged with first-degree murder. Get more details from our previous coverage below.

Original post, 8:50 a.m. January 7: There's still a lot we don't know about a homicide that took place in Thornton during the early hours of January 4. That includes the identity of the victim, described by the Thornton Police Department as a juvenile, and by a distraught friend as having just celebrated his eighteenth birthday. And while a TPD rep confirms that a seventeen year old has been taken into custody in regard to the crime, authorities have not yet mentioned a charge or determined if he'll be tried as an adult. Photos, video and more below.

At around 1:45 a.m. on Saturday, according to TPD spokesman Officer Matt Kandt, cops responded to a report of a male with a serious injury to his throat at the 4200 block of 100th Avenue -- specifically the Pine Lakes Ranch mobile home park.

Upon their arrival, Kandt says officers concluded that there'd been an altercation between what he describes as "juvenile males," with one so seriously hurt that he later died of injuries that have not yet been detailed by representatives from the local coroner's office.

CBS4 notes that two teens were initially detained by cops on the scene. However, only one was formally taken into custody.

Adams County prosecutors haven't settled on an accusation thus far, but Kandt predicts that "it's going to be one of our murder charges."

Could more arrests be in the offing? "That would only be speculation on my behalf," Kandt replies -- but he does stress that the investigation remains open.

Look below to see an interactive graphic from the area where the violence took place (if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map"), followed by the aforementioned CBS4 report.

View Larger Map

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Eric Jesus Chacon-Martinez sought by Aurora police in connection with homicide (29)."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts