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Arizona Man Believed to be Responsible for First Murder in Small Wyoming Town in Over Six Years

Drugs and immigrants get most of the ink when it comes to Arizona's criminal exports, but an Arizona man, who police in a small town in Wyoming believe murdered one guy and nearly murdered another, is dominating the news in Diamondville, Wyoming, these days.

Police in Diamondville tell New Times that there hasn't been a murder in the small town in over six years, so, on May 11, when officers responded to a disturbance call at the Fairview Motel, they were a little shocked to find a man beaten to death.

"It's been a long time," says John Stetzenbach, a captain in the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. "Not just Diamondville -- we haven't had a homicide in the southern part of Lincoln County in that long."

According to Stetzenbach, when police responded to the call, they found 36-year-old Vincent James of Sanders, Arizona, drunk, and knocking on motel room doors after breaking a window.

Officers then looked in the open door of James' motel room to find two severely beaten men, one of which, 39-year-old Paul Cook of Bellevue, Nebraska, was dead.

The other man, an unidentified 33-year-old from Bluegap, Arizona, was found semi-conscious and was taken to a hospital where he was treated for several injuries to his head and face.

Stetzenbach says the three men work together for the Union Pacific Railroad and were in town on business when the murder occurred.

Police aren't releasing details about what prompted the altercation, or if any weapons were used.

James was booked into the Lincoln County Jail. Charges are pending.

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