A shooting incident with two victims rocked the community of Colorado Springs, Colorado, during Halloween eve in 1985. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: Joe Kenda: Bad Moon Rising’ chronicles the murder of 18-year-old Robert Costello, a high school senior. A friend of his, 17-year-old Benny Messina, was also injured but made a miraculous recovery. The investigation led the authorities to the father-son duo of Jose Fernandez Sr and Jr, who hatched a plan to kill them because of an upcoming court case. So, let’s find out what happened and where they might be then, shall we?
Who Are Jose Fernandez Sr and Jose Fernandez Jr?
On October 30, 1985, Benny Messina was found collapsed on the porch of someone’s house. The residents called 911 right away, and Benny was rushed to the hospital with two gunshot wounds to the head. But by a stroke of luck, the bullets didn’t pierce the brain and he was expected to make a full recovery. But just then, he also told the police that there was someone else who was shot: Robert Costello, his friend.
Benny gave them a location, and the police set out in a race against time. But unfortunately, by the time police found Robert at a remote construction area, he was dead from a gunshot wound. As per the show, the investigation then revealed that both Benny and Robert were involved in a car theft recently. In a bid to thumb the authority, Benny, Robert, and their good friend Jose Jr skipped school one day and stole a teacher’s car. They were caught soon after, and while Benny and Robert took plea deals and received probation, Jose Jr decided to go to court.
As part of their plea deals, Benny and Robert were expected to testify against their friend, Jose Jr. This seemed like a motive to the police. As per the show, Jose Sr had made threats against Benny and his father in the past because Benny was going to testify against Jose Jr. With this information, they obtained a search warrant for the Fernandez home, and inside, they found a gun of the same caliber as the one that killed Robert and injured Benny. The father and son denied having anything to do with the murder. The authorities took both into custody.
Once Benny was in recovery, he was able to give a statement to the police. On October 29, 1985, Jose Jr called Benny and Robert to hang out. He then drove them to the construction area, where he pulled out a gun and started to play with it. Jose Jr then shot Robert after a fight and turned his sights on Benny. Jose Jr shot Benny in the head. Benny survived the gunshot and tried to run away, but Jose Jr seemingly had a change of heart and convinced Benny that he would take him to a hospital.
But instead, Jose Jr took him to his father, Jose Sr. Benny tried to escape by yanking the car’s steering wheel, bringing them to a stop. This led to Jose Sr pulling Benny out of the car and beating him up. Then, Jose Jr shot him in the head again. Thinking that Benny was dead, the two of them placed him in the trunk but could not move the car because it was stuck. They dumped him in a field, and Benny played dead until they left. He was then able to get to the house where he was eventually found.
How Did Jose Fernandez Sr Die? Where is Jose Fernandez Jr Now?
In the end, Jose Jr pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. He was sentenced to serve 32 years behind bars. As for his father, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and second-degree kidnapping. Jose Sr was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Both seemed to have been released from prison since. From what we can tell, Jose Sr died in February 2019 at the age of 81. Jose Jr has since chosen to keep a low profile, and there isn’t a lot of information we could garner regarding his current whereabouts.
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