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Suspect in fatal shooting remains in custody

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The suspect in the recent shooting death of a local woman will remain in custody pending trial.

Alessandro Alva (Submitted Photo)

Judge Thomas Lilley of the Fifth Judicial District Court, at a hearing Thursday, granted an expedited motion for pretrial preventive detention for Alessandro Alva, 20, of Roswell, who will remain held without bond up through his trial.

Alva is charged with first degree murder in the death of Jennifer Morro, 40, of Roswell.

In explaining his decision, Lilley said he could not find clear and convincing evidence that any conditions of release could be placed on Alva that would reasonably ensure the safety of the community.

Alva is alleged to have shot and killed Morro on the night of July 26 after picking her up and giving her a ride in his pickup truck. He then dropped her off in the 2100 block of West Second Street and left the scene, before later returning and allegedly shooting Morro before again driving away.

At the hearing, Matthew Stone, Chaves County assistant district attorney, said the random nature of the crime Alva is alleged to have committed — along with shifts in Alva’s story about where he was the night of the shooting — are circumstances concerning to the state.

Stone noted there is no claim of self defense by Alva and he is not believed to have shot Morro in anger, but that he did so while she was kneeling or sitting by the side of the street. He said that the random nature of the crime means Alva could be a possible danger to anyone he interacted with.

Luke Ragsdale, the attorney representing Alva, said there were conditions of release that could reasonably ensure his client would not pose a risk to others and would show up for court hearings.

Ragsdale said none of the four eyewitnesses interviewed by investigators about the incident, nor security camera footage viewed after the shooting, place Alva in the pickup or identify the license plate number of the pickup.

Alva has no adult criminal history and he has family who live in the Roswell area.

Ragsdale said his client could be released on bond, either to be placed on house arrest or with conditions of release that would allow him to work and continue to provide for his family.

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