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Arrest Made in I-40 Teen Murder

Ash Fork Teen Murder John Willis

John Willis arrested and charged with I-40 Arizona teen’s murder

Sedona AZ (May 22, 2013) – On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 4:15 in the afternoon, 53-year-old John A. Willis of Williams, Arizona was arrested for the homicide of Ash Fork resident 17-year old Manuel “Boongy” Navallez.

Navallez’ body was discovered on May 17, 2013, just south of the Arizona I-40 County Line Road off ramp, Ash Fork. Evidence indicates that the teen died from a single gunshot wound to the back of his head.

The arrest of Willis was the result of evidence collected at the scene where Navellez’ body was discovered, interviews of Navallez friends, family and acquaintances, and evidence collected after search warrants had been issued for three residences and one vehicle. Willis was known to frequently stay at one of the residences where evidence was discovered that linked him to the murder scene.

Evidence and interviews indicated Navallez’ murder by Willis was premeditated. Drugs and retaliation for a residential burglary by Navallez appear to be two of Willis’ motivating factors.

The cooperation of the members of the communities of Ash Fork and nearby Kaibab Estates proved key to quickly developing leads in this case. Resident deputies from Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office also were instrumental in developing leads and assisting Coconino County with the investigation.

Willis was booked on the charge of Premeditated First Degree Murder, Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia, and Prohibited Possession of a Firearm. His initial court appearance is scheduled for today.

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