1 arrested in fatal beating of homeless man - Albuquerque Journal

1 arrested in fatal beating of homeless man

Brian Chee (MDC)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Detectives arrested a suspect in the fatal beating of a homeless man outside a shelter earlier this month near Downtown Albuquerque.

Brian Chee, 31, who is also unhoused, is charged with an open count of murder in the Nov. 8 death of Kelvin Willie, 59. Chee was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Thursday night. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

Willie was the second homeless person killed in the city in as many weeks and at least the fourth slain so far this year.

Chee, who has the word “murder” tattooed on his right arm, is awaiting trial in a separate beating case from August and, according to court records, has been arrested on robbery, burglary, auto theft and other charges over the years.

In May 2021, Chee was arrested after allegedly beating a man and stomping on his head at the Albuquerque Rapid Transit stop at Central and Cornell. The charges were dropped months later when the victim could not be found by prosecutors.

In the homicide, Willie was the one who called 911.

The call came in around 7:15 p.m. Willie told a dispatcher he had been beaten up four times and “was going to get beat up again, telling them to “hurry,” according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. A man in the background, believed to be Chee, yelled “he’s okay, he’s drunk.”

Police found Willie bloodied on the sidewalk near the Steelbridge Resource Center, near Arvada and Second NW, and he said “I got beat up.” Willie died at the hospital. An autopsy showed he had internal bleeding, a cut spleen, blood in his chest and fractured ribs, which made it difficult for him to breathe.

According to a witness, Chee told Willie “I don’t like the way you’re acting” and attacked him as Willie said “stop, leave,” according to the complaint. Surveillance video showed Willie swung at Chee around 6:20 p.m. before being knocked down.

Police said the video showed Chee kick, punch and attack Willie repeatedly for nearly 40 minutes as he “crawls around and does not fight back.” Chee told police he remembered drinking Importers vodka with Willie on the sidewalk but not attacking him.

Chee told police “he does not remember the exact day because he drinks heavily,” according to the complaint. He said the day before the homicide he was suspended from the West Side homeless shelter for getting into a fight.

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