Eloy Moya, 52, has been found competent to stand trial in connection with the stabbing death of his 4-year-old nephew.
On July 12, 2000, Moya was arrested after Valencia County Sheriff’s deputies found Andrew Ruiz stabbed in the chest in Moya’s home on El Cerro Loop. The 4-year-old boy was pronounced dead before he arrived at an Albuquerque hospital.
Moya is also facing charges of stabbing Ruiz’s older brother, Mark, during the same incident.
District Judge John Pope found Moya competent after hearing testimony from Moya’s doctor and reading a final forensic report Thursday morning. Moya had been evaluated for several months at the Las Vegas Medical Center after Pope found him incompetent earlier this year.
During Thursday’s hearing, Deputy District Attorney Ron Lopez argued that Moya’s doctors have found that he is ready to face prosecution.
Dr. Bianca Martinez, the forensic division director at the Las Vegas center, testified via telephone during the hearing. She said that, although Moya does suffer from depression and has a history of alcoholism, psychiatrists did not diagnose the Los Lunas man with any mental disability.
“He does have a depressive disorder and is on medication to treat that. He also has a history of alcoholism and has been found to have been malingering,” Martinez said. “I believe he was attempting to present himself as mentally ill as a deliberate attempt to circumvent the adjudication process.”
According to a final forensic report, Moya participated in hour-long competency training classes where he would learn legal terminology and concepts and courtroom procedures. Martinez testified that Moya passed with high scores several tests on information about the court system.
“He demonstrated a clear understanding of the charges against him and the possible associated penalties,” the report said. “He is fully aware of the available pleas and defense strategies available to him in the American court system.”
Martinez also testified that Moya does remember the events of the day he was arrested on charges of stabbing and killing his nephew.
“He has a memory of what happened and can recall the events of that day pretty clearly,” Martinez said.
The report also says, “… he is willing to tell his attorney everything he knows and remembers relevant to the charges against him. He is familiar with the courtroom setting, and he knows what behavior will be expected of him in court.”
Pope had found Moya incompetent to stand trial in February when another psychologist said Moya lacked “sufficient ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding.”
In the final forensic report, Martinez warned the court that Moya may exhibit behavior that may again prove he is uncooperative with his attorney.
“Mr. Moya may deviate in cooperating with legal counsel during the proceedings,” Martinez wrote. “When such a stance is taken, it is likely to be volitional and secondary to Mr. Moya’s fears of serving time in the correctional system.”
Moya was indicted by a grand jury in November 2000 on several counts, including an open count of murder, two counts of kidnapping, attempted murder and two counts of child abuse, one resulting in death and the other resulting in great bodily harm.
District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said he is pleased with the court’s decision and is confident in Dr. Martinez’s conclusion.
“We were confident that he (Moya) was competent,” the district attorney said. “We respect the doctor’s ability as well as her conclusion. We’re prepared to go to trial, and all we need is a setting (date).”
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.