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Officer charged with murder in Rocky Ford shooting

ROCKY FORD — Former Walsenburg Police Officer James Adam Ashby was charged with second degree murder in association with an on-duty shooting in the early morning hours of Oct. 12 inside a private residence in Rocky Ford, CO. Ashby was arrested without incident at the La Junta Police Department by members of the 16th Judicial District Critical Incident Team on Friday, November 14, 2014. He is being held on $1,000,000 bond. Rocky Ford Police Chief Frank Gallegos told the Huerfano World Journal Monday, Ashby was terminated from the RFPD following his arrest. Ashby is accused of shooting and killing 27 year-old Jack Jacquez, at about 2 am Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 at Jacquez’ home at 3rd Street and Swink Avenue in Rocky Ford. Last Friday, 16th Judicial District Attorney James Bullock announced a warrant had been issued for Ashby in connection to the shooting. The investigation, which has been conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with the assistance of the La Junta Police Department, the Otero County Sheriff’s Office,

and the Colorado State Patrol, remains ongoing. According to a CBI press release, circumstances surrounding the shooting are detailed in Ashby’s arrest warrant; however, the document has been sealed by a judge and specifics cannot be released at this time. Ashby left the Walsenburg Police Department earlier this year and began his employment with the Rocky Ford Police Department in June 2014. Walsenburg City Administrator David Johnston said in October that James Adam Ashby was originally hired on a one-year grant, then left the WPD after the grant ended and was hired back by the city sometime afterward. Asked if there were any disciplinary issues involving Ashby while he worked in Walsenburg, Johnston said there were some, but he could not elaborate or release any details due to personnel confidentiality. Jacquez’s family members, including his fiancee Mariah Jacquez, have spoken to a number of media outlets since shortly after the incident occurred, claiming Jacquez had come home from helping a friend who was babysitting at another location, when Ashby burst into the family home and shot him. Sara Lindenmuth, the victim’s sister-in-law, told reporters Jack came home just before 2 am, and when the officer came into the home, the two began shouting at each other. She said Jacquez was standing next to his mother and turned his back on Ashby when the officer fired twice, allegedly hitting Jacquez in the back. She also alleged Mariah was handcuffed and when Jacquez’s mother reached for the telephone to call police, the officer took the phone from her and threw it against a wall. None of the family’s statements have been confirmed by investigators, nor have they made any comments regarding the allegations. Ashby was scheduled to appear in court yesterday for advisement of the charge against him.