Archive for the ‘NM’ Category

New Mexico: Belen teen shot after alleged auto break in

February 9, 2008

Balen, New Mexico

From the Valencia County News Bulletin of February 9, 2008

Belen teen shot after alleged auto break in

A Belen teenager is recovering in an Albuquerque hospital after being shot early Friday morning while allegedly breaking into a vehicle.

Belen Police Detective Richard Perea said a 16-year-old Belen boy is in stable condition at the University of New Mexico Hospital. Perea said the teenager is suffering from wounds to the back of his right arm and leg.

“We got a report of an attempted burglary of a vehicle on La Luz at about midnight on Thursday,” Perea said. “The homeowner heard something outside and looked out the window. She told the officers that she saw two individuals who ran off when they saw her looking out.”

The detective said the homeowner’s husband reported hearing something again at about 3:45 a.m. Perea said the man walked outside with a shotgun and discovered someone inside his Toyota pickup truck.

“He (the homeowner) walked outside and fired one shot at the direction of the suspect, who had fled once the man walked outside of his home,” Perea said. “The suspect was hit on the back of his right arm and leg, by a shotgun with bird shot.”

Perea said the teenager stumbled, but was able to make it to an awaiting car down the street and left. The homeowner, whose name has not been released, told police later that he wasn’t sure if he hit anyone. The detective said that when police arrived, they couldn’t find the suspect’s vehicle or any evidence that someone had been shot.

It wasn’t until a few hours later when an ambulance was called for a gunshot victim at a Belen home that police were able to make the connection, Perea said.

“The driver of the car that left after the attempted burglary, had taken (the suspect) home and then went home himself,” Perea said. “A few hours later, (he) called his friend, who picked him up, and took him to his mother’s house. She’s the one who called 911.”

Perea said the case is still under investigation and charges have not yet been filed against the two teenagers. As for the homeowner, the detective said he needs to complete the investigation and conduct a follow-up interview before submitting the case to the district attorney’s office for review.


October 21, 2007

Roswell, New Mexico

From Albuquerque’s of October 21, 2007

Pizza delivery man kills assailant

Police will not bring charges against a pizza delivery man who shot and killed a man trying to rob him Friday.

The Roswell Police Department said the delivery man, who has not been named, acted in self-defense.

A witness said the delivery man was approached by several people. She said the group attacked him and tried to take his money.

That is when the delivery man pulled out a gun and began shooting.

One person, described as a male in his 20s, was shot and killed. Two other suspects, whom police are still looking for, fled the scene.

October 20, 2007

Farmington, New Mexico

From the Farmington Daily Times of October 20, 2007

Charges dismissed for man accused of killing brother

The Bloomfield man accused of killing his brother in July had all charges dismissed after a preliminary hearing Friday.

Armon Martinez, 24, had been charged with first-degree murder for shooting his older brother Roman three times on July 24, 2007, after repeatedly receiving violent threats from him.

The preliminary hearing was held in Farmington Magistrate Court to determine if the District Attorney’s Office had sufficient evidence to prove the killing was intended or planned, which is necessary for the case to be heard by a jury in District Court.

By dropping the charges, Magistrate Judge William Vincent expressed that he interpreted the shooting as one of self-defense.

The case for self-defense was best made in the testimony of Armon’s brother, Jerome, who told the court Armon was backing up, telling his brother to “get back” as Roman approached while yelling threats.

“If a man can break you in half with his bare hands, most of us would feel it’s perfectly acceptable to arm yourself and defend yourself against such a man,” Defense Attorney Gary Mitchell said, referring to Roman’s powerful build and demeanor.

The ruling was a disappointment, assistant district attorneys Carolyn Wilber and Eric Morrow said.

“We presented a good case,” Wilber said. “I believe we pretty well established a motive for a first-degree (murder).”

That office plans to refile a new case against Martinez, likely reducing charges to second-degree murder, Wilber said after the decision.

“We’ll go back and put our heads together and we’ll see what we can refile on,” she said.

Roman, who several family members testified was incredibly violent when he was drunk, had threatened Armon throughout the day while Armon was serving as Roman’s designated driver, as well as in the preceding days.

Arnold Martinez, the men’s father, told the court he was “petrified” of Roman, and had even attempted to file a restraining order against Roman the day he was killed.

The prosecuting attorneys appeared to be scrambling for objections against witnesses testifying to how afraid Armon really had been of Roman.


September 8, 2007

Tomé, New Mexico

From the Valencia County News-Bulletin of September 7, 2007

Two men who were shot charged with felonies

A shooting last week that left two Los Lunas men injured has been determined by deputies to be justified, and the pair are now facing multiple felony counts in connection with the incident.

On Tuesday, Aug. 28, deputies found Arthur Lovato Jr. and Sean Viviani, both 23, suffering from gunshot wounds they received at a house in Tomé. On Friday, Lovato was arrested. Viviani remains in the hospital recovering from his injuries. Deputies say Viviani will be taken into custody after he’s released.

Valencia County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. John Gordon said that after speaking to the homeowner, Fred Christanelli, and his wife, Susie, and conducting an investigation into the shooting, deputies determined the shooting was justified and done in self-defense. Christanelli, who police say shot Lovato and Viviani, will not be charged, Gordon said.

Instead, Lovato and Viviani have been charged with a total of 18 felony counts including aggravated burglary, two counts of armed robbery, extortion, attempted criminal sexual penetration, attempted aggravated burglary and several counts of accessory and conspiracy.

Gordon said Lovato, who was shot once in the leg and whose head a bullet grazed, was arrested Friday morning during a court hearing in District Judge John Pope’s courtroom.

“We put the arrest warrants out for Mr. Lovato and Mr. Viviani, and we learned that he (Lovato) had a court hearing this morning,” Gordon said. “We arrested him, and he gave us a statement.”

According to the detective, the Christanellis told deputies a few days after the shooting that they were in debt and were unable to pay their bill.

The person to whom they owed money “sent Viviani and Lovato to collect the $400 debt,” Gordon said. “The first time they went over there, Mr. Christanelli wasn’t home, and they spoke to his wife, Susie. They left and waited on the ditchbank until the husband returned home about 30 minutes later.”

The detective said Lovato and Viviani confronted the couple and demanded the money. Gordon alleged that when the Christanellis told them they didn’t have it, Lovato and Viviani went inside and ransacked the house looking for money. They found a little more than $100, the detective said.

“While still in the house, Lovato produced a knife and Viviani a handgun,” Gordon said. “They threatened the couple and told them that they needed to get more money.”

The detective said when the two men walked outside and into the front yard, Viviani demanded the couple’s cell phone, When Fred Christanelli told him no, both men allegedly threatened to sexually assault his wife, Gordon said.

“They (Lovato and Viviani) were approaching the house again when Mr. Christanelli got a gun from inside his house and shot both of them at close range,” Gordon said. “At that time, everyone fled the scene,”

Deputies initially believed that the two men left the scene in a car being driven by a third party, but Gordon said he now thinks Lovato was the driver.

“There was no third person,” Gordon said. “Mr. Viviani (who was shot in the chest) was afraid he was going to die, demanded to be let out of the car.”

Lovato dropped Viviani at a home on Patricio Road and then drove himself to a house where he was staying on N.M. 47. Gordon said when Lovato arrived, an unknown person left in the vehicle.

Neither Fred Christanelli nor his wife, Susie, was injured during the incident.

Lovato is currently being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond at the Valencia County Adult Detention Center in Los Lunas. He is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Tina Gallegos for an arraignment hearing on Monday.

August 13, 2007

Clovis, New Mexico

From the Washington Post of August 9, 2007

Man, 85, Fools, Captures Alleged Burglar

An 85-year-old man whose home was burglarized three times within a week decided to take matters into his own hands. Alton Tillman left his home at his regular time Tuesday, but doubled back and quietly went inside, finding emptied drawers, items in disarray _ and someone’s feet sticking out from under a bed, police said.

Tillman ordered him out, then called 911.

When officers arrived, they found Tillman pointing a handgun at a 16-year-old boy standing against a wall, they said.

Officers said they found several items belonging to Tillman in the boy’s pockets and other items of the man’s at the youth’s home a block away.

The teenager was charged with felony burglary and larceny.

Police Capt. Patrick Whitney said people should call officers rather than acting on their own.

“We’re not Superman either, but at least we do have the equipment and the training,” he said.

June 7, 2007

Albuquerque, New Mexico

From the Albuquerque Tribune of June 7, 2007

Albuquerque police: Man shoots neighbor’s intruder

A man coming to the aid of his West Side neighbor shot an intruder, even as the intruder beat him with a crowbar, Albuquerque police say.

Police said Gregory Lawrence Powers, 36, broke into the West Side yard around 10 p.m. May 26.

After a neighbor arrived with a gun, Powers attacked him with a crowbar, according to a Metro Court criminal complaint. Powers continued beating the Good Samaritan even after being shot three times, the complaint said.

Powers was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital and treated for gunshot wounds to the chest and groin. He was released into police custody Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Powers is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The neighbor was treated and released from UNMH.

April 21, 2007

Grants, New Mexico

From the Gallup Independent of April 21, 2007

Grants man holds gun on escapee

A recent failure of an inmate to report back to authorities after a furlough ended in a local resident holding the man at gunpoint until authorities arrived.

After an incident in March 2006, charges were filed against Paul Valdez by the N.M. State Police on numerous counts, including armed robbery, aggravated burglary, two counts of breaking and entering, and the unlawful taking of an automobile.

Recently Valdez was found incompetent to stand trial; so, he was transported early this month by the Sheriff’s Department to Las Vegas, where people are sometimes sent while officials make a determination of their competency to stand trial.

While he was in the Las Vegas institution, his uncle, Gino Valdez Jr., died, and Valdez was to be a pallbearer at the funeral. Valdez was transferred back to the Cibola County Detention Center and was released April 9 on a 24-hour furlough.

His family then drove Valdez back to the detention center, but he never made it inside; instead, he ran across the street from the facility. As soon as law enforcement was notified, a massive police presence initiated a search for the fleeing Valdez.

After a two-hour search, a local resident notified authorities that Valdez had been hiding in the brush and bushes. The resident had a gun and had made Valdez lie down on the ground until authorities arrived. Valdez did not resist. He is now back in custody.

Although all ended well, the outcome could have been worse.

“(If) that citizen had shot Valdez, this could have been a different story. As citizens, you do have the right to make a felony arrest in your presence, but you cannot use undue force. There is a fine line there, so check on the laws first or you may be explaining your actions before a jury of your peers,” Hall said.

Valdez now faces additional charges of escape from a criminal detention center.

March 31, 2007

Hobbs, New Mexico

From KAMC of March 30, 2007

Elderly Hobbs Man Shoots Intruder

Hobbs police say they rarely hear of burglaries when people are home and it`s even rarer for a victim to fire shots.

Residents of Hobbs say Jerald Hanson has been around the town forever. He’s a guy you can see riding around town on his motorcycle who never puts up with much from anybody. He’s known by most as Pac Rat but ever since early Friday morning he’s been known for a lot more.

“Lying in bed, heard some funny noises you know? And this guy was in my house. He had a knife and he says give me all your money or I`ll kill you! That`s where he made a mistake, he started counting it. It just gave me enough time to go under my pillow and get my gun. I shot at him.”

That’s the account from Hanson after police say 36 year old Rodney Rudy broke into his home around 3:30 Friday morning.

“Here we have an instance where a gentleman is 76-years old and you have a suspect that`s 36-years old in a lot better shape, a lot younger, obviously standing over with a knife, surprising someone that was asleep. So it`s a situation that doesn`t happen often” says Captain Donnie Graham with the Hobbs Police Department.

Hanson fired two shots at the suspect, one of those hit Rudy in the left abdomen and back area. He then ran to a nearby home. Police found him and took him to Lea Regional Hospital. He was later taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock where he remains in stable condition. Police say when he recovers he could face some serious charges including robbery or aggravated burglary. Both are second degree felonies.

Hobbs police say New Mexico citizens are allowed to take reasonable and necessary steps to protect themselves or their property and they will investigate what happened at Hanson’s house.

March 12, 2007

Albuquerque, New Mexico

From Albuquerque’s of March 12, 2007

Carjack attempt leads to shooting; two injured

A man who police believe had already stolen one truck Sunday evening allegedly went back for a second one prompting gunplay between the would-be thief and his victim.

Officials say that the first carjacking occurred at a buffet restaurant on Coors when the man forced his way into a Nissan Titan and forced a family out of the truck at gunpoint.

Shortly later the same evening, the man spotted a second Nissan Titan at a Walgreen store at Coors and Central, but the second victim was armed and the two exchanged gunfire, with each of them being struck.

“The victim decided to take that [situation] into his own hands, but unfortunately the victim was shot,” said APD spokeswoman Trish Hoffman.

Both men were transported to an Albuquerque hospital. Police expect they will both survive.

February 10, 2007

Albuquerque, New Mexico

From Albuquerque‘s of February 10, 2007

Man armed with BB gun shot during robbery attempt

A man carrying a BB gun was shot by a Northeast Heights shop owner while attempting to hold it up Friday night.

The incident happened at about 7:30 at the Higher Source smoke shop near Lomas and Wyoming. The co-owner of the shop reportedly shot the suspected robber with a nine millimeter handgun.

When police arrived, they found the suspected robber with two to three gunshot wounds to the chest.

“It appears at this point that the offender, when he walked into the business, may have had a BB gun,” said APD spokeswoman Trish Hoffman. “It looks very much like a real gun and the business owner may have shot him.”

The suspected robber was rushed to a hospital where he was listed in stable condition. He has been identified only as a 34-year-old Hispanic man.

The co-owner of the shop was detained briefly for questioning and released.

From Albequerque’s of February 14, 2007

Mother of robber says she’ll sue store owner

The mother of a man who was shot three times by the owner of store that the man was trying to rob says she intends to rob (sic) the store owner.

Lorraine Sena, the mother of 34-year-old Mitchell Sena, says her son admits to trying to rob the shop armed with a BB gun to get money for drugs. But she says shop owner John Kemm only needed to shoot her son once – not three times.

Kemm, the owner of Higher Source Smoke Shop, says, “I will do whatever I have to do to protect myself.”

Kemm’s version of the February 9th event and the version Mitchell Sena related to his mother differ.

“Through the camera, I saw a gun in his hand aiming at the register,” said Kemm. “I heard him shout, basically, ‘Give me all your money or I will shoot and kill you.’”

Kemm says he snatched his handgun and “at that precise moment I shot him with the first shot in the shoulder.”

Kemm says Sena continued to try to go for the BB gun, which Kenn thought was a real firearm, and Kemm shot Sena two more times – he claims in self defense.

But Lorraine Sena says her son claims the second and third shots were execution style and that her son begged not to be shot.

Police say that Mitchell Sena will be arrested and charged with armed robbery when he’s released from the hospital. Police have not charged Kemm with anything.