Man erroneously tied to warrant after Kremmling chase not wanted for murder
February 22, 2008
A local man arrested last week in Kremmling and currently incarcerated in the Grand County Jail is not the suspect being sought on an El Paso County charge for second degree murder, as police originally thought after his arrest.
However, 24-year-old Antonio Dominguez of Kremmling is not getting out of jail just yet. He is suspected of and charged with multiple crimes in the wake an incident that happened about 10 days ago after he allegedly stole a car and rammed it into a Kremmling Police car.
The mistake in confusing Dominguez with the murder suspect from El Paso County was due to the fact that both he and the murder suspect have identical names and birth dates.
The error was discovered after Lt. Jim Campbell of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office sent a photo of Dominguez to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to confirm that he was the suspect being sought on their warrant.
“El Paso County Sheriff did an investigation,” Campbell said. “They determined that the Dominguez that they are looking for is not our Dominguez.”
Because no photo or fingerprints of the Antonio Dominguez being sought by on the murder charges existed, El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies had to conduct interviews with witnesses to the crime. After showing the photo to them, they confirmed that the Dominguez being held at the Grand County Jail is not the man wanted in connection with the attempted murder.
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Campbell also learned from the El Paso County Sheriff that the actual charge against their suspect is not second degree murder, but attempted second degree murder.
The victim in the incident was also shown the photo and confirmed the Kremmling man is not the suspect.
The error in misidentifying Antonio Dominguez of Kremmling with the El Paso County suspect was confirmed Thursday. The second degree murder charge filed against him last week in the Grand County Court will be dropped, authorities said.
Despite that good news for Dominguez, he is still in the Grand County Jail facing charges that include: first-degree assault of a police officer, first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, criminal mischief, driving under the influence, driving after license was under suspension and reckless driving.
The incident that led to Dominguez’ arrest and jailing began Monday evening, Feb. 12, when an employee of a Kremmling convenience store spotted a man and woman getting into his car that was left idling outside in the store’s parking lot. As the couple drove off in the stolen vehicle, the employee immediately called 911.
Kremmling Police Officer Tom Backer heard the dispatch call and spotted the stolen traveling on State Highway 9 still within the Kremmling town limits.
Activating the emergency lights and siren of his patrol car, Officer Backer tried to pull over the stolen car, but it attempted to elude him by driving up a steep roadway near the Ranch River Village trailer park on the south side of the town.
However, the road was snow-packed and very icy, which prevented the suspects’ vehicle from climbing to the top.
Officer Backer positioned his patrol car at the bottom of the hill to block the roadway and the stolen vehicle’s escape. It was then that the suspects allegedly put the stolen car in reverse, sped back down the hill and slammed it into the Kremmling patrol car.
Just as this was happening, Kremmling Police Chief Scott Spade and two other Kremmling Police officers arrived on the scene. Also arriving as back-up was Sgt. Gary Mirose of the Colorado State Patrol.
According to Mirose, the officers on the scene ordered the two suspects out of the stolen vehicle at gunpoint. The man and woman offered no resistance. No one was injured during the incident.
Authorities say Dominguez was driving the stolen car. His female passenger, according to police, was 21-year-old Brettnie N. Martinez of Kremmling. She was booked on charges of first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft and protection order violation.
After their arrest, Dominguez and Martinez were transported to the Grand County Jail in Hot Sulphur Springs. During booking, Dominguez’ identification information was run through the statewide law enforcement computer database, which reported that an Antonio Dominguez with the same birth date was being sought on the El Paso County second degree murder, now attempted murder, charge.