Man charged in grandmother’s death

Michael Tafoya


MOFFAT — A Moffat man was arrested and charged in the stabbing death of his grandmother July 24 after a neighbor called the Saguache Sheriff’s Office to report the incident and helped detain the suspect until his arrest.
Cpl. Steven Hansen received the call at about 6:50 a.m. the morning of July 24 and proceeded to Lazy KV Estates subdivision. According to information provided by Saguache County courts (warrantless arrest document), Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick, with the help of the neighbor, Ricky Newman, were able to detain Michael Tafoya, 26, about 8:10 a.m.
When he arrived on scene, Cpl. Hansen reported, Tafoya was calm and smiling. Hansen then relieved Tafoya of a “paring knife” and lighter, found in the suspect’s pockets, before taking him into custody.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also was called to assist in the investigation. Tafoya’s mother told CBI agent G. Slater she was awakened that morning to loud threats from her son that his grandmother, Mary Lucero, was “going to pay.” When she asked Tafoya why he was threatening his grandmother, Tafoya responded that he planned to kill both her and his grandmother.
Fearing for her mother’s life, Tafoya’s mother led Lucero into her (Lucero’s) bedroom and closed the door. Tafoya entered the bedroom holding a knife with a 10-inch blade, described by Tafoya’s mother as a “paring knife.” Tafoya’s mother said her son held the knife to her throat making a slashing motion. He repeated the same action with Lucero but did not injure Lucero.  The mother suffered a cut to her hand.
Tafoya then left the room and broke into a gun case in the home. He retrieved a rifle, but there was no ammunition kept with the weapon so it could not be loaded.
Tafoya then entered the bedroom and pointed the rifle at his mother and grandmother. He struck his mother in the cheek/eye area on the right side with the butt of the rifle then also struck his grandmother on the right side of her face with the rifle butt.
Lucero and Tafoya’s mother then moved into the master bathroom off the master bedroom. Tafoya entered the bedroom, motioning the two women to exit the bathroom. Tafoya’s mother tried to shield her mother from her son, but Tafoya stabbed his grandmother in the upper right side of her back. Lucero began to bleed profusely from the wound and then collapsed.
After trying to resuscitate her mother without any response, Tafoya’s mother said Lucero developed a “blank stare” and she realized her mother was deceased. Tafoya’s mother kissed Lucero goodbye then exited the bathroom through the window and ran for help. She did not see her son again after leaving the home.
Tafoya had been involved in a previous incident with Cpl. Hansen when Hansen arrested him on a warrant out of Chafee County on July 1. At that time Hansen reported that Tafoya displayed aggression towards him. Following his arrest on an outstanding warrant July 23, Tafoya’s mother’s boyfriend also told Hansen he feared Tafoya planned to hurt his mother.
Tafoya was booked into the Saguache County Jail and charged with first-degree murder, two counts of felony menacing and two counts of third-degree assault. He is being held without bond. No advisement hearing has been scheduled yet by the court.

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