Murder suspects arrested in Cow Springs after chase

By Krista Allen
Special to the Times


A murder suspect and two suspected accessories were captured here Halloween night following a 100-mile chase with authorities. Two were captured in an area near a residence and the third inside a táchééh.

Navajo Nation Police assisted by Arizona state troopers arrested Irving Martin Verduzco-Armenta, Jorge Hernandez-Ayala, and Jaime Flores-Solis in connection with the suspected killing of 30-year-old Edgar Luna Najera on Oct. 28. Hernandez-Ayala, Flores-Solis, and Najera are residents of Moab, Utah. An address could not be found for Verduzco-Armenta.

From left to right, Irving Martin Verduzco-Armenta, Jaime Flores-Solis, and Jorge Hernandez-Ayala

Verduzco-Armenta, 30, also known as Omar Guerra, is suspected of shooting and killing Najera early that morning inside Najera’s Moab trailer crowded with people, according to the Moab City Police Department. Hernandez-Ayala, 26, and Flores-Solis, 32, are suspected of helping Verduzco-Armenta evade police.

Verduzco-Armenta was charged with murder Oct. 30 in Utah’s 7th Judicial District. He is accused of shooting Najera twice after a fight turned deadly, according to authorities.

Police responded to Najera’s trailer after receiving a call of a fight in progress. When police arrived at the scene that morning, they were contacted by a resident who led them to Najera’s trailer where they discovered Najera’s body with apparent multiple gunshot wounds. The people had fled the scene before police arrived.

Then police began seeking tips and information on Verduzco-Armenta’s whereabouts.

Around 8 p.m. on Oct. 31, the Tuba City Police District received two reports of three men trying to lure young women into their vehicle. An officer investigating the suspicious activity spotted the three men near Tónaneesdizí and a short chase ensued on a dirt road. However, the officer lost sight of them, according to authorities.

Three hours later, officers spotted the vehicle again parked alongside of U.S. Route 160. Then another chase ensued, this time involving officers from other agencies.

A press release from the Moab City Police Department reads, “The pursuit continued for nearly 100 miles before the suspect vehicle overheated and became disabled, at which time all three suspects exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Officers pursued the subjects and apprehended two of them in a field, and the third in a residential area.”

 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

Are you a digital subscriber? Read the most recent three weeks of stories by logging in to your online account.

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.