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Bessey appears at preliminary hearing

Posted: Friday, May 17th, 2013

Daniel Bessey

Courier staff writer

DEL NORTE — After six hours of court testimony on Thursday, the preliminary hearing of double homicide suspect Daniel Bessey will resume this morning.

The former Saguache resident is accused of murdering a Monte Vista couple in 2012, and Rio Grande County Court Judge Patrick Hayes, Jr., must determine if there’s enough evidence to bind him over to district court.

On Thursday, the judge heard from local, state and federal investigators, who presented the findings that led them to Oklahoma, where they arrested Bessey on Jan. 4.

Authorities testified that they seized Bessey’s cell phone records, which they used to trace Bessey’s alleged movements in the hours immediately before and after the Feb. 13, 2012 shooting deaths of Sarah Beasley and John Salazar.

They also pieced together records of Beasley’s cell phone activity, alleging that those records contradict Bessey’s account of how a key piece of evidence wound up at the couple’s Lyell Street home.

Police identified Bessey as a person of interest at the start of the investigation, since he’s the biological father of Beasley’s youngest son. However, authorities testified on Thursday that they followed up on numerous tips and considered every possible angle in the months before they arrested Bessey.

The 41-year-old man remains in custody on numerous charges, including two counts of first-degree murder.

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