Suspect in local 2010 murder denies any connection

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 4 at 7:19 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Nobody is in custody more than three years after a man was killed in North Spokane, but newly filed court records could lead to a break in the case. Records showed confidential informants claimed that a man named Brandon Blanche and Stafone Fuentes were responsible for Nathan Gilstrap's death. However, police said there is not enough evidence to back up those accusations.

Court records showed police were comparing DNA from the two men that witnesses claim committed the crime. Officials are also analyzing flight itineraries from Southwest Airlines, as the alleged suspects often flew from Las Vegas to Spokane.

Witnesses said they heard four to six gun shots back on July 13, 2010. That was the night Nathan Gilstrap was shot in a yard near West Boone and North Chestnut. A single gunshot wound to the chest killed him.

The case went cold for three years until on October 4. That is when four search warrants became unsealed in Spokane County Superior Court. The two alleged suspects were part of the warrant.

Spokane detectives spoke to confidential informants who accused Stafone Fuentes and Brandon Blanche. Court documents showed one informant said that after the alleged homicide, Blanche stayed inside the informant's home for about a week and never left. The informant also said that Blanche did not want to leave their home and was acting extremely paranoid.

The paranoid allegedly included Blanche frequently checking news coverage of the murder. Another informant told detectives that he believed Fuentes was also involved. Documents stated a witness talked about an incident after the murder where he overheard Fuentes and some other individuals joking about the fact that Gilstrap was killed.

Documents also said that Gilstrap owed Fuentes money, and that may have been behind the alleged murder. Court records showed the murder weapon was recovered abandoned in an alley. Forensics officials said they were able to recover DNA from it.

Detectives said they have taken DNA from the two alleged suspects for comparison.

KREM 2 News spoken to Fuentes, who denied allegations that he had anything to do with the alleged murder of Gilstrap. He said that he did not even know Gilstrap.

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