‘I’m so sorry,’ Man confesses to 2003 Las Vegas cold case murder of 73-year-old, police say

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Duane Etsitty tells police he stabbed man in apartment

Duane Etsitty (KLAS)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A suspect who police said admitted to killing a 73-year-old man in 2003 has returned to Las Vegas to face a murder charge, court documents show.

Duane Etsitty, 41, is accused of killing Paul Makula Jr.

Makula was found deceased in his apartment on South 11th Street in November 2003, court documents said. He had died from several stab wounds, police said.

No suspect was named in the case until January of this year, police said.

Etsitty, who by January was in a Salt Lake City jail, had told staff that he wanted to confess to Makula’s murder, a declaration of warrant for his arrest said. Staff with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Etsitty had sent a message to a detective about setting up a meeting to “get something off my chest,” the warrant said.

Etsitty told detectives he had known Makula for about three years prior to the murder. He also told detectives he was aware Makula had been convicted of bank robbery earlier in his life, which detectives corroborated. Makula had been convicted for armed robbery in Michigan in 1949, detectives wrote.

Etsitty told investigators the two were in Makula’s apartment when “he suddenly grabbed a folding knife.” The knife used in the murder and another knife were thrown onto a nearby business’ roof, which has since been demolished, police wrote.

Detectives had Etsitty describe Makula to them before they showed him a picture.

“That’s Paul Makula,” detectives said Etsitty told them. “After a brief moment, Etsitty grasped the photo, wept loudly and became very emotional. He began apologizing to the photo and said loudly and emotionally, ‘I’m so sorry Paul please forgive me,’” detectives said.

Jail records show Etsitty was taken into custody on the warrant on Aug. 22.

A preliminary hearing on the open murder charge was scheduled for Sept. 27.

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