Suspect in Las Cruces drug-deal 'assassination' held without bond

Galindo detention hearing

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The suspect accused of shooting and killing a man on University Avenue Tuesday night will be held in jail without bond. 

Juan Galindo, 21, accused of shooting and killing Jose Adolfo De La Cruz during a drug deal, appeared in court Friday for a pre-trial detention hearing.

Special Commissioner John Trujillo presided over the hearing, deciding Galindo would stay behind bars until his trial.

"This was a vindictive killing out of anger for a drug deal gone bad," prosecutors said. "It was an assassination."

"They (Trujillo and his alleged accomplice) wanted to buy acid from the victim," said Las Cruces Police Spokesman Dan Trujillo, "They could not reach some type of agreement."

Authorities said Galindo followed De La Cruz to what he believed to be a friend's home. According to court testimony, Galindo exited his car and fired 10 to eleven rounds at the trunk of De La Cruz's car.

"One of those rounds penetrated the cabin of the vehicle and struck the victim in the back," said Trujillo.

The shooting took place just down the street from NMSU. Police said they were concerned with safety.

"Anytime someone fires a hand gun or any type of gun, especially within city limits, in close proximity to anybody, it's a dangerous situation," Trujillo said. "Other people potentially could have been injured."

While the city of Las Cruces has experienced a string of recent homicides, the district attorney assured the public the killings are not part of a crime trend. 

“This is not the first coming wave of a new variety of crime that is going to descend upon Las Cruces," said Gerald Byer, Chief Deputy District Attorney for Doña Ana. "That is not what this is. What this is is just unrelated, violent events that have negatively impacted our community.”

A detective testifying in court today said Galindo admitted the shooting did take place, but did not admit to killing De La Cruz.

Police say they still have not found the weapon used in the shooting.

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