A suspect accused of murdering a Durango man almost a year ago will not be charged with a crime, police said.
Michael Bourriague, 51, was found dead April 13, 2018, at his home on Plymouth Drive in Durango. He was found when a property manager checked on him after not seeing him for several days.
La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith ruled his death a homicide, meaning Bourriague died as a result of the “actions of someone else,” she said. More specifically, Bourriague suffered blunt trauma to the head. That injury, coupled with a pre-existing condition, led to his death, Smith said.
Durango Police Cmdr. Ray Shupe said police investigated the incident and discovered Bourriague had been in a fight with a friend days before his death. That friend was established as a suspect “early on,” Shupe said.
Police declined to name the man, saying he is not being charged with a crime.
Bourriague died, in part, because of pre-existing conditions that were exacerbated by injuries, Shupe said.
The DPD and 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office had “lengthy conversations” with Bourriague’s family and decided last month, after investigating the incident, that it would not be appropriate to bring charges against the suspect, Shupe said.
“We look at it in the interest of justice; we didn’t move forward with charges,” Shupe said. “It was going to be difficult to prove that this guy’s friend knew enough about his medical condition (and) that being in a physical altercation could result in his death.”
District Attorney Christian Champagne did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
According to his obituary, Bourriague was born in Taos, New Mexico, but grew up in Durango, attending St. Columba School and Smiley Junior High School. He graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in art and business.
Bourriague owned Southwest Painting, the obituary said, and worked in construction and painting in the Durango area. He also volunteered as a DJ for KDUR.
He is survived by his parents, Jack and Nita, of Ignacio; his brother, Peter; and his children Wren, Adrian, Aven and Mirra.