Homicide cases still active within courts

By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter says the only recent unsolved homicide in Curry County is that of J.C. Tucker, who was shot to death at his business near Cannon Air Force Base on Sept. 4, 2003.
The following cases are still working their way through the court system. When degrees are specified, “first degree murder” means the defendant is accused of willfully and intentionally causing the death of another person, or in certain cases, causing the death of another person while committing a felony. Second degree murder is a less serious charge that does not require prosecutors to prove either of those factors. Involuntary manslaughter involves a misdemeanor or reckless act that results in the death of another person.

• Alicia M. Thomas, 21, an airman at Cannon Air Force Base, pleaded guilty Feb. 10 to killing her infant child and is scheduled for sentencing on June 11 before Judge Joe Parker. The judge may impose 12 to 18 years in state prison for the charge of child abuse resulting in death.

• Fernando Garcia, 20, scheduled for trial this week before Judge Stephen Quinn on first degree murder in connection with the commission of a felony, dogfighting, and second degree murder. Garcia is accused of killing Moises Ortiz in late February, 2003.

• Dominic L. Murphy, 25, scheduled for a June 25 pre-trial conference and Aug. 10 to 14 trial before Parker. Murphy is charged with first degree murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, bribery, intimidation, or retaliation against a witness, and two counts of tampering with evidence in connection with a double homicide in February, 2003. His co-defendant, Joey G. Martinez, 27, pleaded guilty on Dec. 15, 2003, to two counts of being an accessory to the act and one count of shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, and received a 29-year sentence in state prison with 26 years before being eligible for parole.

• Steve Robert Duran, 34, scheduled for an Aug. 4 pre-trial conference and Sept. 8 trial before Parker. Duran is charged with first degree murder (willful and deliberate), armed robbery with a deadly weapon, felony possession of a controlled substance, possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, all in connection with the Jan. 13 homicide of Ricky Gallegos.

• James C. Rogers, 43, faces a charge of voluntary manslaughter for the Sept. 9, 2003 shooting of David Michael Wilt outside a home on North Prince Street. The case is assigned to Parker with a September trial date.

• Santiago M. Calbert, 18, Eric Preston Duran, 26, and Christopher Meier, 20, face charges of first degree murder (willful and deliberate) in connection with the Jan. 4 death of Carlos Murillo. Duran also faces charges of tampering with evidence and bribery, intimidation, or retaliation against a witness. Trial dates are pending in all of the cases.

• Adam Frank Crespin, 18, faces charges of first degree murder and bribery of a witness in connection with the March 3 death of Lavon Harris. The case is assigned to Parker but the trial date is pending.

• Mark Justin Madrid, 21, faces arraignment May 7 before Parker following an April 12 grand jury indictment for first-degree murder (willful and deliberate), aggravated battery resulting in death or great bodily harm, and tampering with evidence in connection with the March 22 shooting death of Porfirio “Po” Gonzalez and wounding of Ernic Perez.

• Jacob Roberts, 18, faces an open count of murder in connection with the Jan. 21 death of J.T. Mitchell. The case has been bound over from magistrate to district court but not yet set for arraignment.