Christopher Licon, Accused of Murdering Brother and Nephew, Was ASU Student. May Have Shot Brother in Front of Child

The 19-year-old Phoenix man accused of murdering his brother and 6-year-old nephew last month isn't just an alleged drug-dealing murderer, he's also a student at Arizona State University majoring in construction management, the university's website shows. And, according to court documents obtained by New Times, Christopher Licon claims to have been studying at the university library when his brother was killed.

That story, authorities claim, doesn't hold up, though, and police suspect Licon may have murdered his brother, Angel Jaquez, in front of Jaquez's son -- Licon's nephew -- 6-year-old Xavier Jaquez.

According to court records, on the morning of his murder, the elder Jaquez drove Licon to ASU's Tempe campus so he could take an exam at about 7:30 a.m. -- Xavier Jaquez was also in the car.

Jaquez then took his son to his school near 67th Avenue and Indian School Road. He then drove back to ASU to pick up his brother and bring him back to the apartment they shared at 2719 East Broadway Road.

About 2:40 p.m., Jaquez drove back to his son's school to pick him up and drive him back to the apartment. A short time later, detectives believe, Jaquez sat down on his couch to watch TV and was shot in the back of the head.

Police aren't certain whether Xavier Jaquez witnessed his father's murder, but witnesses told police later that they saw a man matching Licon's description leading the boy away from the apartment to a car, with the boy shouting "I wanna be with my dad, please let me go."

If nothing else, it appears the boy was at least in the apartment at the time of the shooting.

Authorities say Licon then drove the boy to an alley near his mother's home, shot him, and left him there. He was found the next day by sanitation workers.

Licon, however, told police he was at ASU studying all day, and only learned of the murder when he got home about 5:40 p.m. and found Jaquez's body. That's when he called police.

Licon claims he borrowed his brother's car to go back to ASU to study. He says he was there studying from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., although, he didn't log on to any ASU computer in that period.

Not to say Licon not logging on to a computer means he murdered his nephew and brother, but the fact that a friend of his told police he asked him to hold a gun for him the afternoon of the murder is a bit of a red flag.

That witness told police that about 4:50 p.m., when Licon claimed to be studying at ASU, he actually went to the witness' place of employment, near Central Avenue and Broadway Road, and asked him to hold a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun.

"Digital forensic evidence," court docs claim, put Licon at the witness' business at 4:53 p.m.

The next morning, Licon again went to the witness' business and demanded he retrieve the gun from his house. The witness told Licon he couldn't leave work and wouldn't be able to do so.

Later that day, the witness returned home to find his house burglarized -- the only item missing was the gun Licon asked him to hold. Police say  only Licon and the witness knew where the gun was hidden.

Once confronted with evidence that contradicted the story he told police, Licon stuck to his story and offered no other explanation as to his whereabouts the day of the murder.

The Arizona Republic is reporting that Licon and Jaquez had a "rocky relationship." According to court documents first obtained by the Republic, Jaquez was arrested in September on drug and weapons charges. Two months later he signed a plea deal that got him out of jail. Simultaneously, drug warrants were issued against Licon.

Police haven't said they've pinned down an exact motive for the murder, but Jaquez possibly turning state's evidence against his own brother seems like a good place to start.

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James King
Contact: James King