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Man charged with roommate’s murder


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A man arrested Wednesday as part of an investigation into the death of his roommate was officially charged with murder Friday.

Daniel Joseph Sosa

Daniel Joseph Sosa, 20, of Roswell, was initially arrested Wednesday on an aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge in connection with the death of his roommate, Robert Ortega III, 20. Sosa also was charged with one count of tampering with evidence and possession of marijuana.

Ortega was found dead Tuesday in a bedroom of the house the two men shared. Court documents indicate Ortega’s body was found with at least one gunshot wound to the head and a second in the upper right portion of his back.

An amended criminal complaint was filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court Friday, replacing the assault charge with one count of first-degree murder, willful and deliberate, according to a press release issued Friday by the Roswell Police Department.

Sosa initially told police that he shot Ortega once in the back with a Glock 23 handgun, but claimed the shot to Ortega’s head was self-inflicted. The press release issued Friday states investigators have since established evidence that Ortega did not shoot himself in the head, and believe it was Sosa who fired the shot to the head.

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Sosa is being held without bond in the Chaves County Detention Center pending a pretrial detention hearing scheduled for Monday in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court at the Chaves County Courthouse, according to electronic court records.

Police responded Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. to a report of a suicide at the 300 block of East Church Street House where Sosa and Ortega lived. Court documents state that when police arrived, they discovered Ortega dead on a bed with a Glock 23 .40 caliber pistol lying on his chest and left arm.

Court documents state Sosa initially told police he shot Ortega in the back while Ortega was lying on a bed playing with his phone. He said that he did so because he believed Ortega was “the devil” and was going to kill him.

Sosa then called his mother, Danny Jo Sosa, 41, of Roswell, who then came to the house.

Court documents state Danny Jo Sosa later told police she and her son took the Glock 23 handgun, along with two other firearms that were in the house, and hid them in a white pickup truck parked in the front yard of her cousin’s house in the 900 block of South Grand Avenue.

Police later found the three guns, a .40 caliber shell casing and 3.77 pounds of marijuana inside the truck parked at the South Grand address.

Danny Jo Sosa was also arrested Wednesday. She is charged with one count each of tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance, marijuana. A Magistrate Court Judge set bail for Danny Jo Sosa at $5,000 cash or surety, court documents state.

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

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