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Man pleads not guilty to charges in 2017 murder

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A man accused of killing his wife in 2017 entered a plea of not guilty to one count of first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with evidence at his arraignment hearing in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court.

In September, a grand jury indicted Castulo Aragon Jr., 59, on the four charges back in September in connection with the death of his 49-year-old wife, Maria Aragon, who was an educator in Roswell at the time.

The case will be prosecuted jointly by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and the Office of the District Attorney of the New Mexico 5th Judicial District, according to an Aug. 30 press release issued by the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General.

Maria Aragon’s body was found at mile marker 166 on U.S. 285 on March 6, 2017, according to an affidavit in the case. The Office of the Medical Investigator later determined Maria Aragon was beaten, strangled and stabbed multiple times in the chest.

The affidavit suggests that blunt injuries had been inflicted “over a period of time” on Maria Aragon.

Multiple bloodstains that matched Maria Aragon’s DNA were later found at two locations where the Aragons resided and on a white Honda vehicle. The blood was later found to be a positive DNA match to that of Maria Aragon, according to the affidavit.

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