New Mexico

Hours after victim dies, judge orders Las Cruces hit-and-run suspect be held without bond

Suspect in deadly hit and run held...

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - A Third Judicial District judge ordered the suspect in last week's deadly hit-and-run should be held behind bars with no bond while awaiting trial.

The decision came hours after the victim died.

"The defendant's efforts to avoid apprehension by attempting to flee the officer presents a serious concern," said Judge Douglas Driggers.

The judge's order for Angel Saenz Jr. came only hours after the victim's mother confirmed to ABC-7 that Sonia Castillo died at 4:42 a.m. on Thursday morning.

"He has a history of violence against women (and) he has a history of violence against household members," said Davis Ruark, the deputy district attorney.

The District Attorney's Office is now charging Saenz Jr. with first-degree capital murder, replacing the charge of aggravated battery against a household member causing great bodily harm.
Earlier this week, the victim's family told ABC-7 that Castillo feared Saenz Jr., who was her ex-boyfriend.

A criminal complaint affidavit states Saenz Jr. told investigators he argued with Castillo because he had recently bonded her out of jail and wanted to make sure she appeared in court.

During the argument, Castillo allegedly threw rocks at Saenz Jr.'s truck. Saenz allegedly told investigators, that as he attempted to drive away, Castillo walked in front of his truck and he struck her.

When police asked Saenz Jr. if he stopped to render aid, he allegedly said he did not because he was afraid. 

 

 


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