Man accused in Denver homeless murder is suspected in Englewood pond killing too

Makhail Anthony Purpera, 29, is suspected of killing two people early in November 2016.

Makhail Purpera

Makhail Anthony Purpera, 29, is suspected of killing two people early in November 2016.

He originally was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Wayland Busby in Denver, and now he’s been connected to the killing of Patrick Steven Murphy in Englewood.

Purpera has been in Denver’s jail since November and remains there today. He also has been identified as “Mikhail” and “Pistol Pete.”

Denver authorities charged Purpera last year in the Busby killing. Witnesses said he shot Busby while the victim slept near the South Platte River in Denver on Nov. 6, according to police records.

Today, Englewood police said they believe Purpera may have murdered a second man shortly before he was arrested on other charges on Nov. 12.

Englewood police suspect that Purpera shot and killed Patrick Steven Murphy, 33, before leaving his body in an Englewood duck pond early that day, according to the Denver Post.

Later that day, Englewood police officers stopped him on suspicion that he had stolen a pair of shoes from the Walmart on Englewood Parkway, per court records.

When he was finally detained, officers said they found him to have marijuana, suspected methamphetamine, a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol and four spent bullets casings. He also was wanted on suspicion of a non-fatal shooting in Gonzales, Louisiana.

Denver police connected him with the killing near the river later in November. The discovery of the body in the duck pond, however, didn’t happen until Feb. 11, when a passerby saw Murphy’s corpse.

After a “lengthy investigation,” police charged Purpera with first-degree murder, robbery, possession of a weapon, possession of a controlled substance and other charges.

Purpera already was in custody in Denver on suspicion of the first killing.

Englewood police identified the suspect as “Mikhail Anthony Purpera,” while Denver police identified him as “Makhail Anthony Purpera,” but both agencies cited the same birthday.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.