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Murder suspects appear in court

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FARMINGTON – Three suspects in two murder cases appeared in Farmington Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

The two men charged with felony murder in the death of Christopher Valdez, 40, waived their preliminary hearings and will be arraigned on their charges in District Court, said Chief Deputy San Juan County District Attorney Dustin O’Brien.

Lawrence Kellywood, 26, and Levi Wilson, 31, are accused of starting a shootout at 101 E. Hopi St. on July 27. Wilson and Kellywood, as well as Michael Tafoya and Kathleen Keck, were all shot during the altercation at Tafoya’s home. Wilson, Kellywood and Tafoya each fired guns during the shooting, according to court documents.

Police have said Tafoya was acting in self-defense, and he hasn’t been charged with a crime.

The motivation behind the shooting is not clear.

Kellywood and Wilson have each been charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, shooting at an occupied dwelling, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit murder.

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