2 men charged in Kentucky triple slaying

AP News
Posted: Nov 23, 2009 9:34 PM

Two suspects charged in the killings of three men whose decomposed bodies were found by hunters have implicated themselves in statements to police, a prosecutor said Monday.

One suspect gave information that led investigators to the weapons used, Commonwealth's Attorney Karen Davis said at an initial hearing for the men in Barren County District Court. She said she was considering seeking the death penalty.

The bodies were found Sunday in a field about three miles east of Cave City in rural south-central Kentucky, said State Police Trooper Charles Swiney.

"We can't even speculate how long they had been out there," Swiney said.

Miguel A. Velazquez, 20, of Cave City, was charged with three counts of murder and tampering with physical evidence, state police said. Also arrested was Marcos Bautista, 18, of Cave City. He was charged with complicity to murder, tampering with physical evidence and possession of marijuana.

The defendants were dressed in orange jail jumpsuits, bound at their hands and feet and showed no emotion during the hearing.

Davis said it was Velazquez who told officers where to find the weapons, but she would not comment on what they were.

The bodies of the three men were found in a thicket of trees near a farm pond. The suspects' statements indicated that at least two were killed elsewhere and taken to the spot, Davis said.

"They were hidden to some degree by the foliage and brush," the prosecutor said. Davis said the suspects' statements indicated that the killings were "not spur of the moment." The suspects indicated that money and items were stolen from the victims, Davis said.

"Whether that was their motive, I don't know what was in their minds," she told reporters after the hearing.

A judge ordered the defendants held without bond and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Nov. 30. Two public defenders represented them but declined comment to reporters. An interpreter was provided when Bautista indicated he needed one. Swiney said federal immigration officials were investigating whether the two suspects were in the country illegally.

Autopsies have been completed, but authorities did not release causes of death or the victims' names. State police described the victims as Hispanic.

The Rev. Joel Rogers, pastor at St. Helen Catholic Church in Glasgow in south-central Kentucky, said the Hispanic community is close-knit and will be devastated by the triple slaying.

Rogers said people in the area mostly work at area farms and restaurants.