Four Los Lunas residents have been arrested and charged in connection to a double homicide in Meadow Lake.
Felicia Anaya, 37, Jacob Arnold, 25, David Mestas, 29, and Samuel Mestas, 26, all of Los Lunas, have each been charged with two open counts of murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of brothers, Rudy Romero, 32, and Henry Romero Jr., 38.
On Monday, Feb. 22, Los Lunas Magistrate Miles Tafoya ordered the four suspects be held without bond at the Valencia County Detention Center. Hearings to review the conditions of release for Anaya and Arnold have been scheduled for 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 25, before Tafoya.
David and Samuel Mestas will appear before Los Lunas Magistrate John “Buddy” Sanchez at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 25, for a hearing to review their conditions of release.
According to the criminal complaints, shortly before 2 a.m., Friday, Feb. 19, deputies with the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 298 Meadow Lake Road about a disturbance at the residence, and were told a man was possibly shot in the chest.
When the first deputy arrived, he found a man lying face down on the ramp leading into the house and a second man face down on the floor of the living room. Both were unresponsive and not breathing. The two men were later identified as the Romero brothers, who lived at the house, according to a press release from VCSO.
When deputies arrived, Anaya was in the home with several other people in a bedroom, including the father of the two deceased brothers. Deputies asked the individuals what had happened, but they were unable to provide much information, the complaint said, other than the name “fat Jacob,” who lived in El Cerro.
The people in the bedroom told Anaya to tell deputies what she knew, but she refused to provide information, the complaint read, appearing agitated and upset.
As the deputy was trying to gather information, he was told Anaya had run from the scene, east on Meadow Lake Road. She was caught and taken into custody.
Multiple witnesses told deputies there was a fist fight between the Romero brothers and the three men who came with Anaya that seemed to end peacefully when Arnold shook hands with one of the brothers. However, witnesses also said that’s when Arnold took out a handgun and began shooting at the brothers.
“Both decedents started to flee back into the house,” the complaint read. “Jacob continued to fire shots at them and even stood over the top of one and fired directly into his body.”
One witness said he believed the fight was about a stolen gun.
Anaya was booked into VCDC at on Friday, Feb. 19, and at about 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20, David and Samuel Mestas turned themselves in at the Los Lunas Police Department.
Deputies, with the assistance of the United States Marshals Service, took Arnold into custody without incident about 30 minutes later at his home in El Cerro Mission.
“The sheriff’s office would like to thank the marshals service for their assistance in the quick apprehension of the suspects in this case,” said Lt. Joseph Rowland, VCSO spokesman.
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.