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Suspect pleads not guilty to homicide charges

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A man suspected in the shooting death of his girlfriend pleaded not guilty to two criminal charges at an arraignment in New Mexico 5th Judicial District Court.

Jesus Robles (Roswell Police Department Photo)

Jesus Robles, 34, entered a formal plea of not guilty to one count of first degree murder, willful and deliberate, and one count of receipt, transport, or possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, at the Dec. 2 arraignment.

Judge Thomas E. Lilley at the arraignment scheduled Robles’ jury trial for April 21 at 9 a.m. A status conference was scheduled for Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m, and a pretrial conference for April 16 at 1:30 p.m.

Robles is accused of shooting Griselda Rascon, 33, of Roswell once in the head during a violent argument at her 400 Deborah Drive residence on the night of Oct. 4.

Rascon was still alive when police and medics arrived at the scene and transported her to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, where she later died as a result of her wound.

A Roswell Police Department detective testified at an Oct. 15 hearing in District Court that before Rascon was shot, her nine-year-old daughter — who witnessed and overheard much of the argument — had run out of the house to get help from Robles’ cousin, who lived in the neighborhood.

When the daughter and Robles’ cousin got to the house, they saw Robles walk out of the bedroom. After exchanging some words with his cousin, Robles then left the scene before police arrived, according to the detective.

Three days after the shooting, Robles, who was wanted by Roswell police in connection with the shooting, was located and arrested by police in Las Cruces. He was then transported back to Chaves County to face charges.

The detective, in his testimony at the Oct. 16 hearing, said Robles, when questioned, said that the argument between he and Rascon started over some liquor and a firearm he he had purchased.

The detective said Robles later told him that he had threatened to shoot himself during the argument, then later blacked out and shot Rascon.

A motion for the pretrial preventive detention of Robles was granted by Judge James Hudson of the New Mexico 5th Judicial District. As a result he will remain incarcerated without bond pending trial.

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