A Valencia County grand jury handed down multi-count indictments for two men charged in the shooting death of a Meadow Lake man in early March.
Jesus Angel Garcia, 32, of Peralta, and Alexandro Motelongo Murillo, 24, of El Paso, Texas, are in custody at the Valencia County Detention Center on no-bond holds, accused of murdering Daniel Sandoval, 26.
The indictment charges both men with the same three counts: first-degree murder or murder in the second degree and manslaughter; conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, with a firearm enhancement, and attempt to commit first-degree murder.
The indictment goes on to list three charges Garcia and Murillo could face in the alternative: aggravated assault, with intent to commit a felony for assaulting Scott Sandoval, the victim’s brother; conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, and tampering with evidence.
Valencia County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a home on Sportsman Drive on Saturday, March 2, where they found Sandoval shot multiple times. He was transported to a hospital where he later died.
According to a press release issued by the U.S. Marshals Service, who helped capture Garcia and Murillo in El Paso, the two men allegedly engaged in a vehicle pursuit with Sandoval and a second victim, Scott Sandoval, shooting at the vehicle Daniel Sandoval was driving. Scott Sandoval was unharmed.
Valencia County Sheriff’s Office Lt. James Harris said the incident went from one location to another, starting on Prados Place and ending on Sportsman, with gun fire along the way, resulting in multiple crime scenes between the two locations.
On the night of the shooting, officers with Bosque Farms Police Department were assisting with the incident and found Garcia and Murillo hiding along a ditchbank.
The two suspects were taken into custody and turned over to sheriff’s deputies. However, the men were eventually released due to lack of probable cause.
Since Murillo was from El Paso, there was a good likelihood he and Garcia would flee south, authorities said, and that information was passed on to law enforcement agencies in the southern part of the state and in Texas.
Garcia and Murillo were located at a hotel in El Paso on Thursday, March 7.
They fled authorities on foot in opposite directions, but were quickly taken into custody without incident and booked into El Paso County Detention Facility under no-bond warrants before they waived extradition and were brought back to Valencia County.
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.