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Man indicted in connection with 'fight-night' death

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A 32-year-old Texas man has been indicted by a grand jury in connection with a 2007, fight-night killing.

Nelson Carlos Guajardo allegedly shot and killed Derek Leondra King around 4:20 a.m., on Sunday, May 6, 2007, after watching Floyd Mayweather, Jr., beat Oscar De La Hoya by a split decision in a televised, 12-round, Las Vegas boxing match.

Guajardo and King, a 29-year-old Jonesboro man, got into an argument in the living room of a College Park apartment on Flat Shoals Road, and the man living there threw Guajardo out, according to Clayton County police. King stepped outside for a cigarette, and was shot once in the chest with a .40-caliber bullet.

According to the indictment handed down by a Clayton County grand jury Wednesday evening, Guajardo "did, unlawfully and with malice aforethought cause the death of Derek King, a human being, by shooting Derek King with a handgun."

The detective investigating the homicide, Steven Rotella, wrote in his arrest warrant application that the man, who has a Texas driver's license, had family in Morrow and Jonesboro. When he was thrown out of the apartment, he drove off in a gray or silver Ford Tarus and allegedly fired five bullets at the apartment. "This is the situation as it is known," Rotella wrote. "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."

The shooting surprised police, because the fatal bullet was apparently fired blindly, passing all the way through the house -- through the carport wall, the living room wall, the living room, the dining room, and out the back door -- before killing King. The man apparently finished his cigarette and stepped into the doorway and the flying bullet hit him in the chest.

It was unclear, initially, if the drive-by shooting was random, or if unit H-4 at Dahlridge Apartments was actually targeted. Within two weeks, though, detectives had wanted posters out on Guajardo, describing the suspected murderer as a 230-pound, six-foot, Hispanic man "known to frequent areas with adult entertainment establishments."

Witnesses told police they'd seen Guajardo's Ford speeding from the scene after the five shots were fired. A witness, who watched the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight with Guajardo, told the detectives he had a conversation with the man about the gun, asking him to unload it so it would be safe. The witness reportedly asked about the caliber of bullets, and Guajardo allegedly said his handgun fired ".40-caliber hydroshock," the same size and style of bullet found at the apartment.

Guajardo, who is also know as Anastacio Gonzalez, and "Telly," is facing charges of murder, aggravated assault and various weapons allegations. According to police, he has a history of violence, including domestic violence and a fight with an officer. He faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison, if convicted.