Suspects held on $1 million bond in boxer Alexis Urbina's murder

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 12, 2013 7:45 PM

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Two men accused of beating 17-year-old champion youth boxer and Olympic hopeful Alexis Urbina to death during an attempted robbery at his Phoenix-area home in September were ordered held on $1 million bail during a court hearing on Tuesday.

Robert Chavez, 22, and Joseph Jessie Corrales, 23, who were arrested on Friday in connection with Urbina's murder, were also appointed public defenders during the brief hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Chavez and Corrales have not been formally charged in the case.

Urbina, who in April won a title at the 2013 USA Boxing Youth National Championships, was found unresponsive and suffering from blunt force trauma in the kitchen of his family's home on September 3. The high school senior died two days later at a local hospital, authorities said.

Police say there was no sign of forced entry into the home and believe the suspects attacked Urbina during a robbery.

"They set out to do a robbery and for some reason identified him as an easy target and then they went after him," said Sergeant Trent Crump of the Phoenix Police Department.

Chavez and Corrales became suspects after several witnesses told police that the two offered to sell them items taken during the heist, including Urbina's cell phone, according to court records.

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One witness examined the telephone and saw the boxer's pictures on the device, realized it likely had been taken during the murder and went to police, the records say.

Urbina was considered to have a bright future in amateur boxing, winning a gold medal in the light welterweight division at this year's national championships.

He was one of several top junior boxers to be selected to participate in a training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb, Bernard Orr)