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home : latest news : local April 28, 2016

5/23/2013 10:20:00 AM
Williams man arrested in fatal shooting of teen
John Willis
John Willis
Williams-Grand Canyon News

FLAGSTAFF - Authorities in northern Arizona say a Williams man is in custody in connection with the fatal shooting of an Ash Fork teenager.

Coconino County Sheriff's officials say 53-year-old John A. Willis was taken into custody at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Willis is being held on suspicion of premeditated first-degree murder, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and unlawfully having a firearm and had his initial appearance in court on Wednesday.

Authorities didn't immediately know Wednesday if Willis has a lawyer.

They say the body of 17-year-old Manuel "Boongy" Navallez was found last Friday south of Interstate 40 on the County Line Road off ramp and it appears he died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.

Evidence found through search warrants of a vehicle and three homes was consistent with evidence where Navellez' body was found, investigators said. Willis was known to frequently stay at one of the homes.

Willis was arrested on that evidence and after interviews with friends, family and acquaintances of the victim.

Sheriff's detectives say evidence and interviews indicate it wasn't a random shooting incident.

They're investigating the possibility that the shooting involved drugs or was retaliation for a home burglary allegedly involving Navellez.

The cooperation of community members in Ash Fork and nearby Kaibab Estates was key in quickly developing leads in the case, according to a Coconino County Sheriff's Office press release.

Resident deputies from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office also helped develop leads and assisted Coconino County Sheriff's Office deputies with the investigation.

Related Stories:
• Williams man gets life sentence for killing teen who robbed his friends

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