Crime

2 arrested, 3rd man sought in Las Cruces weekend homicide

New Mexico murder suspects arrested

SILVER CITY, New Mexico - Two men have been arrested and a third man is being sought in connection with a weekend homicide in Las Cruces, according to online court records.

Patrick Salaiz, 43, and Sonny Sierra, 24, both of Silver City, were being held without bond after making initial appearances Tuesday afternoon in Dona Ana Magistrate Court ​on multiple criminal counts each including first-degree felony murder. Salaiz pled not guilty to the charges against him, while Sierra did not enter a plea.

The two are now slated to appear for detention hearings in Third District Court later this week.

According to statements of facts (see below at bottom of article) filed with the court by a Las Cruces police detective, Salaiz, his brother and Sierra are accused of fatally shooting Robert Anthony Pena in a car early Saturday and then dumping his body along Esperanza Street in Las Cruces.

The brother, 21-year old Gabriel Salaiz of Silver City, is also wanted in the killing and remains on the loose.

Pena's girlfriend told police she witnessed the incident, which apparently stemmed from an attempted robbery involving drugs, according to the court filings.

Authorities say Pena died as a result of a gunshot wound to the back of the head.


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