Man charged in stabbing death of Las Cruces teen found not guilty of murder

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - A jury Thursday found the man charged for stabbing a 17-year-old teenager at a house party not guilty of second degree murder and aggravated battery.

Lawrence Lucero, 21, was facing up to 18 years in prison if convicted. 

David Escamilla, 17, died while being transported to an El Paso-area hospital in October 2014. Witnesses told detectives Escamilla got into a fight with Lucero near the intersection of Bravo Road and Desert Wind Way.

Lucero began to fight with 19-year-old Christopher Calzada when Escamilla and 20-year-old Ismael Montoya joined, according to a criminal complaint. When the fight dispersed, friends took Escamilla and Calzada to Mountain View Regional Medical Center with stab wounds.

Calzada was ultimately released from the hospital, but Escamilla died of his injuries. An autopsy showed he had stab wounds in each lung.

Lucero turned himself in to the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office in February 2016 after detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest.

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