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Woman seeks answer in husband's murder

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

When the doctor told Danielle King her husband was dead, she said he was lying.

She had waited in a little room in Southern Regional Medical Center, in the early morning hours of that day in May 2007, and the doctors worked on her husband as the 29-year-old man faded, was resuscitated, and finally faded away.

"I was just hysterical," Danielle King recalled, a year and five months later. "I told him he was lying. To this day, I can't believe it. I ain't lying, my husband was no saint, but he wasn't no bad man."

When Derek King died, shot to death while smoking a cigarette on the back patio of a College Park apartment, his wife wanted to know what happened. She wanted explanations. She asked the detectives what they knew, asked the doctors for details, asked the people who had been there with Derek when he was shot, and she learned the excruciating facts. But she still has one question.

She wants to know why. She knows there's only one person who can say why her husband was shot in the chest, and she wants him caught, so she can look at him and ask, "Why?"

"I think he might have an answer," Danielle said. "He might say, 'Well, I wasn't intending to, I was just mad and I tried to scare them.' I can deal with it, but why did you do what you did? Why did you do it? I just want an answer."

Clayton County homicide detectives suspect 32-year-old Nelson Carlos Guajardo of the murder. They have a warrant for his arrest, and last month, a grand jury handed down an indictment against the man, a Mexican native who is also known as "Anastacio Gonzalez" and "Telly." But, he hasn't been arrested. He's still at-large, and "considered armed and dangerous."

He may have returned to Mexico, though no one seems to really know.

Danielle is personally asking the public for help. She's asking anyone who knows about Guajardo to go to the police and help her get an answer to her question. "I'm pleading, I'm begging, please come forward," Danielle said. "Any little information, any little thing will do. Is he in Mexico? Is he living somewhere under a false name? I just would like to please move forward. I want to know why my husband had to die."

Derek King was watching the Oscar De La Hoya - Floyd Mayweather, Jr., boxing match, with friends, the night he died. According to police, Guajardo was also there, watching the 12-round, Las Vegas fight. Following Mayweather's victory on a split-decision, Guajardo and King got into an argument -- it's not clear about what -- and Guajardo was thrown out of the apartment around 4:15 a.m.

Then, King went to smoke a cigarette to calm himself down, and was shot in the chest. "His friends say that's when they saw him, he was just standing there," Danielle said. "He said, 'He got me,' and he was standing for awhile, and then slid and fell over. That's when one of them sees a hole in his shirt, realizes he's been shot."

Crime Scene Investigators determined the fatal bullet was .40-caliber, which could have been fired from the gun Guajardo had showed off and called his ".40-caliber hydroshock." The bullet was fired from outside the house, as if in a drive-by shooting. Police said they were initially confused, unsure it was a random shooting, because the bullet was fired from the outside of the house, passing through the carport wall, the living room, the dining room and out the back door. Derek King apparently finished smoking and stepped into the path of the flying bullet.

"This is the situation as it is known," Detective Steve Rotella wrote in his application for an arrest warrant. "He intentionally fired five shots from a handgun into the residence ... where one of the gunshots struck Derek King in the chest area, causing his death."

King's wife knows those details, knows all the facts as they are known, but she still doesn't have a reason, a motive to connect to the crime. She still doesn't know what to say to her 11-year-old daughter, DeOndra, who sometimes has nightmares and cries, and wants to know why her father is gone.

"I want to talk to him," Danielle said. "I want to know why ... He knows what he did and he ran away. He should be a man and stand up and say, 'OK, I did it.' I'm just looking for an answer. I want to know why my husband's dead."