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Fayetteville man faces March jury trial in murder case

by Tracy Neal | August 17, 2022 at 10:50 a.m.
Legal office of lawyers, justice and law concept : Wooden judge gavel or a wood hammer and a soundboard used by a judge person on a desk in a courtroom with a blurred brass scale of justice behind. lawsuit tile / Getty Images

BENTONVILLE -- A March jury trial is scheduled for a Fayetteville man accused of killing another man.

Wilson Figueroa-Matos, 40, is charged with capital murder, abuse of corpse, tampering with physical evidence and terroristic threatening. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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

Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green on Monday scheduled Figueroa-Matos' jury trial to begin March 27.

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

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. Denis Vega, Figueroa-Matos' roommate, told her everyone had left through the back door, but she knew there were no back doors, according to the affidavit.

Police went to the apartment, and Vega gave officers permission to look around, the affidavit states. Vega, who has since died, reported Gonzalez owed money to Figueroa-Matos, according to the affidavit.

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

Rodriguez-Martinez said he, Vega and Figueroa-Matos put Gonzalez's body in a car trunk, and he and Figueroa-Matos dumped the body and covered it with an air mattress, the affidavit states.

Rodriguez-Martinez, 28, of Springdale 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, according to court documents. His jury trial is also scheduled for March 27.

Figueroa-Matos is being held without bond in the Benton County Jail.

Prosecutors have waived the death penalty so Figueroa-Matos will be sentenced to life imprisonment without the benefit of parole if convicted capital murder.

Print Headline: March jury trial scheduled in murder case

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