Clovis, NM ~ Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler announced (Monday) that Albert Ramirez, age 20, changed his plea to guilty of First Degree Murder (Premeditated) and was sentenced to serve the maximum penalty of Life in prison.
Ramirez’s jury trial began today with jury selection for the July 12, 2007 homicide of 29 year-old Eladio Robledo. Prior to the change of plea, the prosecution and defense were very close to finishing jury selection and presenting opening statements in a trial that was scheduled to last all week.
The charge stems from an incident that occurred at 1:30 p.m. on July 12, 2007, when Ramirez ambushed the victim outside of the victim’s home and shot the victim four-times with a .22 caliber gun. At that time the Clovis Police Department and the Ninth Judicial District Major Crimes Unit began investigating the murder.
The investigation uncovered the fact that Ramirez had been telling his mother (Eladio Robledo’s girlfriend) that he was going to kill one, if not both of them for kicking him out of the house when he turned 18. Police discovered that Ramirez had attempted to purchase a handgun 3-weeks prior to the murder, and paid a patron at Wal-Mart $50 to buy him bullets just the day before the murder. The police also found evidence of threatening text-messages to Ramirez’s mother and the victim that read “paybacks” and “Karma”. Hours after the shooting took place the police also located a pair of pants Ramirez was seen wearing as he fled the scene, and in the pocket were several .22 caliber bullets, a photo-identification card of Ramirez, and a toothbrush that contained Ramirez’s DNA on it.
District Attorney Matthew Chandler stated, “It is extremely rare that a Defendant plead guilty to first-degree murder and agree to a life sentence without any real consideration or compromise from the prosecution. We advised the defense team that the only option was to start the trial or enter a plea to the original charge of first degree murder and accept a life sentence. The credit for this investigation and life sentence lies solely on the shoulders of our investigating officers and brave witnesses that came forward to assist in the investigation. Our officers conducted a thorough investigation and presented a rock solid case to the district attorney’s office.”
The Honorable Judge Teddy Hartley presided over the trial and District Attorney Matthew Chandler and Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrea Reeb prosecuted the case for the State.
Albert Ramirez will be transported to the New Mexico State Penitentiary to begin serving his life sentence, which means that he will not be eligible for his first parole hearing until he serves at least 30 years in prison.
For further information concerning this case, please contact the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office.