New Mexico

Memorial held for 14-year-old Las Cruces girl killed in drive-by shooting

Memorial for 14yearold

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Dozens gathered at a memorial service Wednesday night for a Las Cruces teen killed in a drive-by shooting.

Family and friends held red and white balloons and candles at Tortugas Park as they remembered Jocelyn Trujillo-Pierce. She was killed early Saturday morning on the 1400 block Monte Vista Avenue.

Police arrested two brothers, 20-year-old Julio Gutierrez-Barrera and 19-year-old Alonzo Barrera, on Saturday in connection with the murder.

Court documents state the party was hosted by two New Mexico State University football players.

Investigators believe the brothers left the party but came back. Julio Gutierrez- Barerra is accused of firing three times at the house during a drive by shooting. Trujillo-Pierce was struck by a bullet in the back of the head.

Trujillo-Pierce's grandparents said they were unaware that their granddaughter had sneaked out of her bedroom the night of her murder.

"I said, 'No! Jocelyn is asleep,'" said her grandmother, Amparo Munoz.

The 14-year-old attended a party, where she was killed by a drive-by shooter, according to police. 

"She didn't deserve what happened to her," Muñoz said. "She was just an innocent teenager."

Trujillo-Pierce's grandparents continue to mourn her loss. They learned about her death from a friend, who saw it on social media.

Munoz said his granddaughter was very active. She was learning karate and raced BMX bikes. 

"She did many, many things, that maybe, some other kids would only dream of, you know," Munoz said, "She was just a wonderful young lady. I raised her so."

The grandfather said Trujillo's death could have been prevented if the people hosting the party had not provided alcohol to minors.

Julio Gutierez-Barrera is charged with an open count of murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit a felony.  Alonzo Barrera is charged with tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Prosecutors from the Doña Ana County District Attorney's office will ask a judge on Friday to keep the two brothers behind bars while awaiting their trial.

A spokesman said it is part of the state's new bail and pretrial detention system -- which went into effect July 1, 2017. It requires prosecutors to demonstrate that an accused person poses a danger to the community in order for them to be held without bond.

The two brothers will appear in Judge Fernando Macias' court on Friday.


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