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Shooting case headed to district court


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The case of a woman who faces charges in connection with an August shooting was bound over to district court Oct. 3 after a judge found during a preliminary hearing that there is enough evidence to move forward.

Veronica Perez is charged with false imprisonment and tampering with evidence in relation to an Aug. 29 shooting. The prosecution alleges Perez held the victim, a 35 year-old man, against his will after he was shot in the face at a South Washington Avenue home and then allegedly tried clean up some of the evidence before police arrived.

Two other individuals, David Clements, 30, and Jessica Tarleton, 33 — owner of the house where the shooting occurred — have also been arrested on charges related to the shooting and already had their cases bound over to district court.

Clements is charged with accessory to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and intimidation of a witness.

Tarleton faces charges of accessory to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and distribution of marijuana.

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A warrant has been issued for a fourth person, Thomas Joseph Dellavecchio Jr., 42, on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and felon in possession of a firearm.

Clements and Tarleton are now being held at the Chaves County Detention Center without bond, according to a summary population report of inmates at the center. As of Monday Perez’s name was not on the population list.

The victim took the stand and was questioned by Matthew Bonniwell of the Chaves County District Attorney’s office and later by Alexis Tighe, an attorney representing Perez, and recounted the events of Aug. 29, which he described as “a terrible day.”

“I was very shocked to see what happened and the way things turned out,” the victim said.

The victim, who said he had been a friend of Tarleton’s before the shooting happened, told the prosecution that a few weeks before he was cleaning Tarleton’s house when he called her to say that it appeared that her bedroom had been broken into.

He said that she then told him that if anything was missing from her room, that he and other people that were living in the house would have to move out immediately, irrespective of their ability to find another place.

The victim said he moved out soon after and later tried to talk with Tarleton. He told the prosecution that the day of the shooting he received a text message from Tarleton asking him to come over and talk.

The victim told the prosecution that he borrowed a friend’s vehicle and drove to Tarleton’s house. When he knocked on the door he was greeted by Perez and Tarleton invited him in and showed him a picture of a tattoo on her foot, and then after he sat down asked the victim if his girlfriend had been in the house.

The victim told the prosecution that he told Tarleton no.

Tarleton then asked him if her neighbors were lying to her, to which he had said yes.

The victim said that Clements and another person had then come into the living room from the kitchen, each holding a gun that was aimed at him. The victim said he was then shot.

He told the prosecution that after he was shot, the four others were hysterical as he turned to the floor wounded. After waiting until the four had left the living room, the victim said he tried to quietly exit the home through the front door but that Perez pointed out to the others that he was trying to escape.

The victim told the prosecution that Perez pulled him by the arm.

“At that moment they pulled me back in the house and they closed the door,” he said. Asked to identify Perez, he pointed to the defendant. He told the prosecution that he was held against his will.

The victim said that he was then escorted out onto the back porch of the house by the four others, including Perez, before he was taken by Perez and Tarleton to the bathroom, where for an unspecified period of time he bled over the bath tub.

Clements and Tarleton later took him to the hospital, he said.

Detective Robert Scribner, a Roswell Police Detective on the scene, testified. He said that he had responded to a call that a male who had been shot had been dropped off at Lovelace Regional Hospital.

Scribner told the prosecution that he later questioned two people who were at the hospital with the victim and then later went to the scene.

He later said that he viewed body camera footage of an officer questioning a woman who could have been Perez, who was the only person that was at the residence.

Scribner later said that when he went inside he saw blood on the floor on the exterior of the room and near furniture. He said it appeared as though the room had been cleaned.

He said that in the kitchen he saw two mops, as well as a commercial mop bucket that seemed to be tinged with something red. He told the prosecution that it looked like the bathroom had not been cleaned at all.

Tighe said before the judge ruled that Scribner did not talk to Perez himself when he came onto the scene and that he only saw footage from the body camera of another officer who he thought questioned her.

Tighe told the judge that she did not think that the state had proved to the level of probable cause that Perez had falsely imprisoned the victim or that she had cleaned up the blood.

She said that the victim’s testimony indicated he did not know what was going on, pointing to parts where he did not know where Tarleton, Clements and the other unnamed assailant were standing right before he tried to escape.

He said while being questioned by Tighe that he could not remember if Tarleton and Perez touched him or just walked with him to the bathroom.

“There was so much pandemonium going on, I was basically in a shock from being shot,” the victim said at one point under questioning by Tighe.

She also said that the prosecution had not called anyone to testify who had actually spoken to Perez at the scene.

Tighe added that there was no evidence that pointed directly to Perez as someone who cleaned up the blood and that the victim’s testimony showed there were other people in the house.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.