DENVER - More than 30 years have passed since Denver Police believe Hector Bencomo-Hinojos strangled a woman inside an east Denver apartment. On Wednesday, the 53-year-old entered a Denver courtroom in a wheelchair as Denver prosecutors readied their first-degree murder case against him.
The case represents the 100th filed cold case to date for the Denver District Attorney's Office. It's a milestone that brings the office's chief prosecutor a lot of pride. "There's huge satisfaction and the satisfaction goes throughout the team," said Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.
Bencomo-Hinojos recently waived extradition from Pennsylvania where he had been set to be released from a federal penitentiary, according to a spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's Office. Denver Police say his DNA, when recently entered into the national DNA database, matched DNA left behind at the scene of the murder of 32-year old Patricia Beard.
Beard had been sexually assaulted and strangled while inside an east Denver apartment on March 27, 1981. To put that date into perspective, the crime occurred three days before the attempted assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan.
Bencomo-Hinojos will be back in court in October for a preliminary hearing.
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