Coroner: Man killed after being caught in 'compromising position' with friend's wife was strangled

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - A 34-year-old man who was killed during an altercation at a friend's Broomfield home was strangled to death, an Adams County forensic pathologist said.

Investigators say 32-year-old Matthew P. Burnett told them he found James Clifford Fernandez in a "compromising position" with his wife at the couple's home in August.

Burnett told investigators he punched Fernandez in the face and shoved him in the chest, which caused Fernandez to fall back and hit his head on a small table.

Documents presented in court Friday show Fernandez sustained several head wounds, but the ultimate cause of death was strangulation.

Michael Arnall, who conducted Fernandez' autopsy, said a person would have to be subjected to about three to five minutes of strangulation before dying.

Fernandez' body was found on a street Aug. 17.

Burnett has been charged with first-degree murder.

Burnett's wife, Carissa Koch, 26, is accused of trying to remove blood stains from the carpet. She faces charges of tampering with physical evidence and being an accessory to a crime. Koch is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 12.

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