A man charged in connection with a New Year’s Eve homicide will remain held without bond pending the outcome of his case, after his attorney agreed to the state’s motion for pretrial preventative detention, citing his client’s immigration status.
Gary Mitchell, defense attorney for Eleuterio Andres Juana, told Judge Dustin Hunter at a Friday hearing that he believes any effort to convince the court to deny the motion made by the District Attorney’s office would be futile, because Juana is in the country illegally. The hearing took place in New Mexico 5th Judicial District Court in Chaves County.
Court documents state Juana, 32, who is charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of tampering with evidence, was deported on three previous occasions.
Mitchell said after the hearing that he believes Juana’s case will go to trial, and Juana will enter a not guilty plea to both charges at his arraignment.
Juana is alleged to have shot Jaime Ramirez, 50, four times in the chest on the evening of Dec. 31 in the kitchen of a home in the 300 block of East Sixth Street.
Documents filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court state Juana and Ramirez were alone in the kitchen talking immediately before the shooting.
Witnesses outside the house saw Juana exit the house through the kitchen backdoor after the shooting and head for a trailer on the property. He was not on the property when police arrived.
Juana was found and arrested on the evening of Jan. 2 at the Belmont Motel in the 2100 block of West Second Street.
When questioned by police, court documents state one witness, who was at the house but did not see the shooting, said Juana is known to use methamphetamine, but did not know if Juana was under the influence at the time of the shooting.
Another witness reported seeing Juana on the property, acting strangely, and thinks Juana was under the influence of narcotics or alcohol, according to court documents.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at email@example.com.