Thursday, January 3, 2008


Photo by Family Photo
Becky Yanez, shown in this family photo, and her 11-year-old cousin, Angelica Martinez, were both kiled at a home near Lakewood Gulch in Denver early Jan. 1, 2007 by a single bullet believed to have been fired from long range.

Photo by Family Photo
11-year-old Angelica Martinez. Martinez, shown in this family photo, and Becky Yanez were shot and killed by a single bullet fired from long range shortly after midnight in the 4700 block of West 11th Avenue. Police say it may have been accidental. No arrests had been made.

Photo by George Kochaniec Jr.@The Rocky
Pedro Cortez makes his first appearance in Denver County Court today. Cortez, 25, was arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of Becky Yanez, 47, and 11-year-old Angelica Martinez.

'There's no accident about it,' slain girl's aunt says
Man arrested in shootings says he fired at streetlight

Kevin Vaughan and Lynn Bartels
Originally published 12:30 a.m., January 3, 2008
Updated 06:20 a.m., January 3, 2008

On the north side of an undulating park that cuts through a west Denver neighborhood, a 25-year-old man stood in an apartment house parking lot and raised a .44-caliber handgun toward a streetlight.

Three-hundred yards to the south, on the other side of the park, about a dozen family members gathered in a small, white home with a snowman on the front porch, welcoming 2008.

It was about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, and the fireworks outside were just dying down.
And then, horror as a single bullet ripped through the front wall of the home, killing 47-year-old Becky Yanez and wounding a distant cousin, 11-year-old Angelica Martinez, who died a short time later at a hospital.

That picture emerged Wednesday as Denver police continued their investigation of two deaths that shocked a neighborhood, and a 25-year-old man suspected in the killings made his first court appearance.

A judge ordered that Pedro Cortez, the Denver native arrested in the shooting, remain in jail pending the filing of formal charges. Cortez told police investigators that he was shooting at a streetlight with a .44-caliber revolver, according to court documents.


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