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FOUR CORNERS FREE PRESS SEPTEMBER 2019

Sneak Peek

Fred Martinez’s killer is paroled: The brutal murder in 2001 drew national attention to Cortez

By Gail Binkly

The man who murdered a transgendered Navajo teenager in Cortez in 2001 – a crime that drew national attention to the city – has been released from prison.

Shaun Murphy, now 36, was paroled to Colorado’s northeast region after serving 17 years of a 40-year sentence, according to online records.

FRED MARTINEZ JR

Fred Martinez, Jr.

Murphy admitted to the brutal murder of Fred Martinez, Jr., a 16-year-old Cortez resident who liked to dress in women’s clothing. The two reportedly did not know each other before the night of Martinez’s death.

“My heart goes out to Fred’s family,” said Lydia Nibley, the director of a documentary about Martinez’s life and death called Two Spirits. “Our hope was that they would not ever have to face Shaun Murphy on the street in their lifetimes,” she told the Four Corners Free Press in a phone interview.

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WHAT IS THE FREE PRESS?A monthly publication delivering in-depth news, lively features, and thought-provoking columns on life in the Four Corners.

The Four Corners Free Press is an independent, alternative paper with real substance. Every month, we sink our teeth into meaty topics, providing in-depth, comprehensive news stories on important local and regional issues that affect our readers.

Here’s what you can find in the Four Corners Free Press:

  • Thorough, balanced, in-depth news coverage by award-winning, experienced journalists who are familiar with the community and region.
  • The liveliest Opinion section in the Four Corners, with a rotating group of columnists writing everything from serious political commentary to humor.
  •  A perennial readers’ favorite: Our Crime Waves section describing local misdeeds. Crime Waves is available only in our print edition.
  • A Health section with columns and articles on a variety of health and wellness topics.
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