Albuquerque man faces up to 10 years for girlfriends death

An Albuquerque man pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter after running over and killing his 19-year-old girlfriend.  In November 2017, witnesses saw Dominic Garcia (pictured) and Samantha Sandoval in an argument near Pennsylvania and Haines in northeast Albuquerque which ended with Garcia running over Sandoval. Garcia then with the help of a friend, took Sandoval to a local hospital where she died from her injuries. After several meetings with the Sandoval family they agreed with prosecutors to set a plea for Garcia which includes no sentencing agreements with a four year habitual criminal enhancement for up to 10 years in DOC. A sentencing date is set for September 28, 2018 at 1:30 pm.

Debate Coach Pleads To Sex With Student

Luis Chavez pleaded guilty to six counts of Criminal Sexual Penetration in the Fourth Degree and one count of Criminal Sexual Contact of a Minor in the Fourth Degree. At sentencing, he faces up to five years incarceration. He will be required to register as a sex offender for ten years and must give up his teaching license. 
The Defendant was a educational assistant at Rio Grande High School and also the school’s speech and debate coach. He engaged in a sexual relationship with a student throughout much of 2016. The student eventually left the school in order to end the relationship. 
The case was investigated by the Bernalillo County District Attorney's Special Victims Unit, who received a confession from the Defendant. 
The Defendant was also prosecuted in a different matter involving another former student. That case went to trial earlier this year and resulted in a hung jury on one charge. That case was dismissed as part of this plea.

Adrian Maestas Senteced for role in 2015 homicide

Adrian Maestas was sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery and second-degree murder in an October 2015 homicide. Maestas was convicted in the death of Dometrique Shepherd, whose body was discovered in an irrigation ditch near Belen. Co-Defendant, Ronald Perez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and was sentenced to three years in prison. 

Aragon Sentenced to 12 years for Probation Violation

Daniel Aragon was sentenced to 12 years in prison and will serve a minimum of 85% of his sentence for violating his probation. 
In 2016 Aragon plead no contest to second-degree murder and abandonment of a child resulting in death following the 2012 brutal beating of 22-month-old Emma Rose who died following the attack. 
Aragon faced two trials where each time the juries deadlocked. As part of Aragon’s plea, he was sentenced to five years in DOC followed by five years probation. Aragon faced up to an additional 25 years in DOC if he violated probation upon release. Aragon violated his probation less than two months after being released.

Bernalillo County Deputy District Attorney named "Prosecutor of Year"

April 16 - Bernalillo County Deputy District Attorney, Penny Gilbert has been honored by the New Mexico District Attorneys’ Association as “Prosecutor of the Year". This is the most prestigious annual award given by the NMDAA for exemplary performance by a prosecutor.   

Gilbert prosecuted three murder trials last year and achieved convictions in all three.  One of these trials was against Esias Madrid, who killed Jayden Chavez-Silver while Silver was attending a party with friends.  Another of Gilbert’s trials was against Tyler Hernandez, who murdered a homeowner in his driveway while attempting to burglarize the homeowner's car.  Gilbert’s third trial involved the execution of Cory Coyner over a stolen firearm.

She convicted these defendants under all three theories possible in New Mexico:  Deliberate intention, depraved mind, and felony murder.  Gilbert obtained these convictions while also running the grand jury division. She will be honored at the upcoming Administrative Office of the District Attorney (AODA) spring conference in Ruidoso. Gilbert is currently the Deputy District Attorney for Special Proceedings at the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office. 


Sandoval Sentenced to 30 Years

April 12 - An Albuquerque man who plead guilty to second-degree murder and 35 more charges was sentenced to 30 years in DOC. 
Prosecutors accepted the plea in January. 
In September 2016, Daniel Lee Sandoval and a group of teens were in Northwest Albuquerque attempting to steal a van. The van’s owner, Hector Aguirre came out to confront the group when Sandoval, the driver of the van ran over Aguirre. 
Sandoval was the last of the group of teens to face sentencing.
The way the sentence is structured he has five years probation following his initial 30-year sentence. If he violates probation he faces another 70 years in prison.

Nigel Johnson Guilty On All Counts

April 4 - A jury returns with a guilty verdict on all counts against Nigel Myron Johnson for his role in the August 2016 beating death of a man in front of a southeast Albuquerque convenience store. Johnson was found guilty of first-degree murder, as well as the alternative charge of second-degree murder, robbery, and conspiracy. Sentencing is set for June 5, 2018. Co-Defendant Emilio Mirabal is set for trial in October.

Nine Year Sentence for Jimenez

April 3 - Dominic Jimenez was sentenced to nine years in DOC after pleading guilty to 13 charges for a series of crimes committed between September and December 2016. Jimenez was a member of a local street gang and was indicted along with 15 other gang members in March of last year. Jimenez, though not the driver, was involved in the 2016 death of a local contractor after taking his vehicle. The Driver, Daniel Sandoval, plead guilty to 36 counts including 2nd degree murder for that incident. He will be sentenced on April 12th.