Utah police arrest man in 2001 killing

  • Associated Press
  • November 20, 2013 - 7:20 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City police say a federal prisoner from Wisconsin is responsible for an unsolved killing 12 years ago.

Detectives brought Vincent Thomas James, 32, back to Utah this week to be charged with criminal homicide. Investigators say he killed Leonel Perales, 25, on Sept. 28, 2001.

Earlier this year, they also charged Raymond Daniel Benally, 32, who they believe was driving the car when James fired at Perales, said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.

A new team of investigators re-opened the cold case in June 2012 and honed in on James as a suspect in February. Unlike some cold cases that are solved with new technology or DNA, this case was cracked by investigators re-interviewing witnesses, finding other witnesses they didn't talk to before, and piecing together the case.

"This was the result of good, old fashioned shoe leather," Gill said, crediting Salt Lake City police detectives.

Police spent nine months orchestrating the extradition of James, who was serving time in a federal prison in Oxford, Wis., on unrelated charges.

James was being held on $1 million bail.

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