A local man charged with murder in a May shooting incident at an Allsup’s store in south Roswell is awaiting trial on another murder charge.
Chaves County Sheriff Britt Snyder said that detectives arrested Frank Anthony Montoya Jr., 20, of the 2900 block of South Emerald Drive Thursday for the murder of Robert William Stotts Jr., 27.
Montoya also was charged with unlawful carrying of a firearm into a licensed liquor establishment, a fourth-degree felony, Snyder said.
Stotts had been discovered in the parking lot of an Allsup’s store at 6000 S. Main St. at about 1:20 a.m. on May 8 after Sheriff’s deputies had been called to the location.
The deputies discovered that Stotts had been shot at least once after what they believed was a fight involving four people. Stotts was the only one thought to have been injured. He was transported to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, where he died of his wounds.
Family and friends have described Stotts as a happy, sociable person who enjoyed listening to and composing rap music.
According to a criminal complaint filed regarding the Stotts murder with the 5th Judicial District Court in Roswell, detectives obtained a video of the incident and were able to identify Montoya, who also was picked from a photo line up by two witnesses. The Sheriff’s Office also alleges that DNA from a baseball cap worn by Montoya during the incident, a cap that supposedly sparked the argument, contained DNA that matched Montoya’s.
At the time he was charged in the Stotts case, Montoya was already incarcerated, having been charged July 31 with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the Dec. 14, 2014, death of Joe Garza of Roswell.
Montoya has entered a not guilty plea in that case, which is now set for a Dec. 12 jury trial before Judge Dustin Hunter.
Roswell Police Department officers allege in that case that Montoya and at least one other person planned and carried out the fatal shooting of Garza while he was riding his bicycle near the intersection of Mulberry Avenue and Tilden Street the evening of Dec. 14. Montoya allegedly acted in concert with at least one other person, Louie Archuleta, who also goes by the name Louie Ceballos. Police allege that the shooting was in retribution for an earlier fight that month that involved several people, including Montoya, two of Montoya’s cousins, Archuleta, Garza and Garza’s sister.
Montoya’s case involving the Stotts murder is assigned to Judge Kea Riggs, with a hearing to consider legal motions scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.