The Valencia County grand jury indicted three Monterey Park residents last week in connection with the March 6 shooting death of 11-year-old Joseph Hobbs.
On Thursday, March 18, all three suspects — Alexandria Tabora, 40; her son, Santos Mateo Garcia, 21; and Erik Carillo-Garcia, 24 — were each indicted on one count of first-degree murder.
Tabora was also indicted on aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. Garcia is also facing two counts of aggravated assault and one of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. The grand jury also indicted Carillo-Garcia on charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Two days prior, on March 16, District Court Judge Cindy Mercer granted the 13th Judicial District Attorney Office’s request to keep the three suspects in jail without bond until their trials.
The shooting happened at a home at 37 Carmel while Joseph was there with his mother, Reva Armijo, and his younger brother, Joshua, 6. Armijo had given a friend a ride to the house to buy a car from the man living there.
During Tuesday’s detention hearing, ADA Natalie Campbell said surveillance video from two different homes with views of the house at 37 Carmel show a tan, four-door vehicle driving northbound, then stopping on the street. A man, she said, was Garcia gets out of the rear passenger seat and fires a handgun toward the house.
He returns to the car, then a second person, identified by Campbell as Carillo-Garcia, gets out of the front passenger seat and fires toward the house. The car was driven by Tabora, Campbell said.
“After the car’s first northbound pass, individuals from 37 (Carmel) come out into the road with firearms but it’s unclear if they fired,” Campbell told the judge.
The car made a U-turn and drove past the house a second time, this time southbound, but the videos don’t show more shots being fired at that time, she said.
People at the house where Hobbs was shot and killed told investigators shots were fired when the car was northbound, then they stopped and a few minutes later, more shots were fired into the property.
“Nobody identifies the shooters in the second set of shots,” Campbell said.
A witness said he was leaving his home on Carmel at the time of the shooting and met the tan car going northbound. The witness said Griego, who he knows, pointed a gun at him and threatened him.
Campbell said investigators found 19 spent casings in the roadway directly in front of 37 Carmel.
“In a statement to law enforcement, Santos said he had no idea a child was there, that they were shooting at somebody else,” she said.
Campbell said while New Mexico State Police typically do a bullet trajectory analysis, at this point the exact trajectory of the bullets alleged fired by Garcia and Carillo-Garcia is unknown.
“One reason state police cannot do a solid trajectory is because the property has a bunch of bullet holes there from before the incident. There are holes in one of the trucks parked there state police don’t believe are … part of this case,” she said. “There are holes in the trailer that were there before this incident. As of this time, we don’t know if state police can create a valid trajectory …”
What is solid about the case, Campbell said, is the initial shots were fired by the two individuals who got out of the four-door tan vehicle.
“The only statement to the contrary is from Santos, who said they were ‘firing back,’” she said. “Multiple witnesses say the shots were coming from the street. The video doesn’t show evasive movement. They didn’t duck or move. They took a position and shot into the property. Both videos support that fact.”
Tabora and Carillo-Garcia were both on probation at the time of their arrests in relation to a 2019 incident at that same home.
According to online court records, Tabora was indicted on 13 counts in connection to the incident, including aggravated battery, false imprisonment, aggravated burglary, armed robbery and interference with communications. Carillo-Garcia was charged with seven counts, including armed robbery, false imprisonment and shooting at a dwelling.
Both were given deferred sentences and put on supervised probation for five years, with Tabora’s to begin on March 8, while Carillo-Garcia’s began on Jan. 25.
Tabora was arrested and charged on March 7, and Carillo-Garcia on March 8. The DA’s office filed a motion to revoke probation for both of them on March 10.
Prior to the shooting, court records show Garcia received a handful of traffic violations since 2017, including no proof of insurance, no driver’s license, speeding and careless driving.
Campbell said even though the traffic tickets were misdemeanors, Garcia never appeared in court unless a bench warrant was issued for him and he was arrested.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.