Urbina murder case: Arrests bring more questions than answers

Two men are behind bars, facing murder charges in connection with the death of an up and coming Phoenix boxer.

Police say the suspects were caught after trying to sell the victim's belongings.

FOX 10 has video of 22-year-old Robert Chavez in the back of a squad car after being arrested Friday for the murder of 17-year-old Alexis Urbina-Ochoa.

Chavez and 23-year-old Joseph Corrales are both facing first degree murder charges in connection with Urbina-Ochoa's death.


Friends of the victim's family are relieved to learn of the arrests.

"My brother was killed in 1982 and they haven't found the people who killed him, so I was so glad that this happened.. that justice is going to be brought," said Rufino "Birdie" Murilllo.

Police say Urbina-Ochoa was a robbery victim. Investigators say the 17-year-old boxer was found badly beaten in his home near 4th Street and Broadway on September 3rd. He later died at a hospital.

Police say the suspects were caught after they allegedly tried selling Urbina's computer, television and cell phone.

"We have a witness in this case who literally saw the cell phone and went through it and saw images of the victim on it and knew the right thing to do was to notify the police department," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump.

Investigators say the suspects didn't know the victim. Detectives say there were no signs anyone forced their way into the home.

"Unfortunately, we don't know how they overtook him. We don't know what the first violent act was inside that home and may never know exactly how that happened to a young man who was as talented as he was at boxing," said Crump.

Urbina was described as an up and coming boxer with dreams of becoming an Olympian in 2016.

"And his dream was destroyed... just broke my heart," said Murillo.

Along with the murder, the suspects are charged with burglary and trafficking stolen property. Authorities say Chavez has an extensive criminal history with Phoenix Police.


The arrests of Chavez and Corrales bring up more questions than answers for members of Urbina's family.

Family members say they don't know the two men who've been arrested for the murder. And although police are saying Alexis was the victim of a deadly robbery, those closest to the up-and-coming boxer say they don't believe robbery was the only motive behind the fatal beating.

Urbina should've been in the ring Saturday. Instead of celebrating a win, his family -- enduring another blow in the wake of his death.

"It's really painful to finally put faces on these criminals," said Alexis' sister, Sulem Urbina. "They completely destroyed our family.. they broke our hearts and they deserve nothing but pain in their hearts for the rest of their lives. I want them to suffer the rest of their lives for what they did."

"And although family members say they're relieved at the arrests, they say it also reminds them of the emptiness of all the dreams Alexis won't realize, the matches he won't, win the trophies he won't take home.

"Nothing will bring my brother back. That emptiness will always be there," she said.

Emptiness and now, more lingering questions.

Andrew Soto was Alexis' trainer and brother-in-law. He doesn't believe Alexis was a random robbery victim.

"For kids like that to just go after him.. especially someone they didn't know, maybe it was somebody else who targeted him and asked these kids to do it for him.. someone who didn't have the guts to do it themselves," he said.

But who? And why? Alexis was a role model, an accomplished boxer, an Olympic hopeful.

While the case is closer to being solved, closure is nowhere in sight.

The arrests just mark the end of another round. The family bracing for more punches.

"To be honest with you, it just makes me more upset because I don't feel satisfied. I know it goes deeper than that."

It was a brother-and-sister dream to make it on the U.S. Boxing Team for the 2016 Olympics. And Sulem Urbina says she's going to carry on that goal for her brother. She wants to keep Alexis' name alive, and most of all, make him proud.

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