Cold Cases of the Desert Southwest: Yuma man killed over a bottle of whiskey

YUMA, Ariz. – It has been 31 years since a man fatally shot 44-year-old Billy Gene Duncan, a local truck driver over a bottle of whiskey.

In the early hours of November 23, 1984, Duncan along with two other men were in an apartment enjoying a bottle of Kesslar whiskey when their friendly banter turned hostile.

Franklin said, “The fight happened with Duncan and Mingo over a bottle of whiskey, one of the men in the physical altercation decides to leaves the apartment.”

Mingo, the alleged gunmen left the 10th Avenue apartment, but returned with a gun and pulled the trigger.

Franklin said, “Billy Gene Duncan was shot and killed by a man that goes by Mingo.”

Duncan was shot right in front of Virgil Schultz, who owned the Yuma apartment they were drinking at.

Franklin said, “The witness Virgil Schultz was then threatened by Mingo with a machete and kidnapped. Then at 24th Street and 1st Avenue Schultz was let loose and Mingo was never seen again.”

Mingo was described as a Hispanic man, 6 to 6 foot 3 inches, weighing from 190 to 210 pounds with black hair.

Franklin said, “The last time he was seen he was 28-years-old. He’s now 59 years old. A lot of people knew Mingo, but there was no actual first name, no actual last name, no known residence, he did stay at several places.”

Schultz had been drinking with the two men for several hours, but he was still able to give a witness statement.

Franklin said, “Officers did interview several people with the first name of Domingo.”

Franklin says Mingo was an unusual name to hear in the 1980’s.

Franklin said, “The name Mingo in that 1984 time frame in that area, somebody’s gotta know something, they have to have a name for this guy or somebody might remember.”

Franklin says it’s possible Mingo fled to Mexico.

Franklin said, “He’s never been able to be totally identified.”

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