Home News Local News Ballard Street murder suspect to be held without bond

Ballard Street murder suspect to be held without bond

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Arturo Duran-Lujan

An Albuquerque man suspected in the shooting death of another man during a family gathering in Roswell will remain in custody without bond pending trial following a judge’s ruling.

Judge Dustin. K. Hunter of New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court in his ruling Tuesday granted a motion by the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office for the pretrial preventive detention of Arturo Duran-Lujan, 40, according to a court document.

The document states Hunter determined the state, through clear and convincing evidence, established there are no reasonable conditions of release that could ensure Duran-Lujan would appear in court as required and would not pose a danger to the community.

“Any person who disagrees with the defendant or if the defendant were to get into a physical fight with an individual would be in serious danger due to the defendant using firearms and deadly force in situations where deadly force is not warranted,” the motion for pretrial detention states.

Duran-Lujan is charged with second degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm and child abuse in connection with the death of Leroy Acosta, 37, during an April 29 family event at a 300 block of East Ballard Street residence.

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Acosta was shot once in the face. He was later transported to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center where he died from his wound.

Duran-Lujan, who fled before police arrived on the scene, was later found in Albuquerque and arrested on an outstanding warrant in connection with the shooting.

Gino Basile, a detective with the Roswell Police Department, was the only witness called by the prosecution or defense at the hearing, according to a document detailing Tuesday’s court proceeding.

The prosecution in their motion cited the “unpredictable nature of this crime” and strength of the evidence — which included at least one eyewitness who identified Duran-Lujan as the shooter and video of the shooting from a nearby surveillance camera — and a past conviction for larceny of a firearm and past failure to comply with conditions of probation as reasons to keep him in custody.

The fact Duran-Lujan does not reside in Roswell and that he fled to Albuquerque after the shooting were also cited by the state.

Deirdre Ewing, Duran-Lujan’s defense attorney, said in an interview Wednesday the surveillance video presented by the prosecution is unclear and does not provide a clear account of what happened.

The shooting occurred at about midnight during a gathering at the East Ballard Street residence. According to an affidavit filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court, surveillance video obtained by investigators shows a man identified by investigators as Duran-Lujan walking toward a group of people on a sidewalk outside the residence where the gathering was held.

Duran-Lujan is then allegedly shown swinging punches at Acosta before a muzzle flash is seen.

The affidavit states the video then shows Duran-Lujan walk up a driveway with what appears to be a firearm in his hand and multiple people rushing towards the front door of the house and trying to get inside.

Duran-Lujan is then shown turning around in the driveway before he enters a silver four-door vehicle with an older man and a female, which then drives away.

A preliminary hearing for Duran-Lujan is scheduled for May 13 in Chaves County Magistrate Court.

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