Today's Paper Latest Coronavirus The Article iPad Core Values Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive Story ideas

Fayetteville man held without bond in murder case

by Tracy Neal | September 19, 2021 at 3:39 a.m.
Luis Guillermo Rodriguez-Martinez

BENTONVILLE -- A circuit judge Friday ordered a Fayetteville man accused of murder to be held without bail in the Benton County jail.

Judge Robin Green held a hearing Friday for Wilson Figueroa-Matos, who was arrested on charges of capital murder, abuse of corpse, tampering with physical evidence and terroristic threatening. Prosecutors haven't filed formal charges against him.

Figueroa-Matos, 39, is accused of killing 25-year-old Kevin Gonzalez, whose skeletal remains were found March 27, 2020, near Decatur.

Gonzalez had been reported missing to Decatur police. He was last seen April 12, 2019, according to court documents.

"Two years ago, this defendant executed Kevin Gonzalez in cold blood by shooting him in the head," Joshua Robinson, deputy prosecutor, said at Friday's hearing.

Robinson recommended that Figueroa-Matos be held in jail without bail.

Seth Irwin, Figueroa-Matos' attorney at the hearing, said Figueroa-Matos has lived in the area for three years.

Green found that probable cause exists to detain Figueroa-Matos on the charges.

Luis Guillermo Rodriguez-Martinez, 26, is being held on $200,000 bond in the county jail. He was arrested Sept. 11 on charges of hindering apprehension, abuse of corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Prosecutors haven't yet filed formal charges against him.

Rodriguez-Martinez told detectives that he was in an apartment when Figueroa-Matos shot Gonzalez once in the head, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Rodriguez-Martinez said he wanted to call an ambulance, but Figueroa-Matos took his cellphone, according to the affidavit.

Karla Benitez-Cruz reported April 15, 2019, that a few days earlier she had gone to the apartment with Gonzalez, who went in to take care of money he owed Figueroa-Matos, according to the affidavit. She said she heard a gunshot and went to the door, and Denis Vega, Figueroa-Matos' roommate, told her everyone had left out the back door, but she knew he was lying because there were no back doors, according to the affidavit.

Police went to the apartment, and Vega gave officers permission to look around to ensure that no one was hurt, the affidavit states. Vega, who has since died, reported that Gonzalez owed money to Figueroa-Matos, according to the affidavit.

Rodriguez-Martinez said he, Vega and Figueroa-Matos put Gonzalez's body in a car trunk, and he and Figueroa-Matos drove on dirt roads for more than an hour, then dumped the body and covered it with an air mattress, the affidavit states.

The two went to a car wash and cleaned out the vehicle, according to the affidavit. .

Rodriguez-Martinez said he saw Figueroa-Matos give the gun to another man, and Figueroa-Matos warned him not to tell anyone about what happened, according to the affidavit.

Figueroa-Matos' arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 18.

Wilson Figueroa-Matos
Wilson Figueroa-Matos

Print Headline: Bail denied for Fayetteville man held in Benton County slaying


Sponsor Content