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Woman sentenced on tampering with evidence charge

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Danny Jo Sosa

A woman accused of helping her son remove firearms and marijuana from his residence, after he allegedly shot to death his roommate, recently received several suspended prison sentences to be served on supervised probation.

Danny Jo Sosa, 41, of Roswell was sentenced at a May 12 hearing in New Mexico 5th Judicial District Court in Chaves County. As part of a repeat offender plea and disposition agreement, Sosa pleaded no contest to one count each of tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, over eight ounces, according to court documents.

Sosa received two 18-month suspended prison sentences to be served on supervised probation in that case.

At the same hearing, Sosa pleaded no contest to charges in two other cases. In one case, she was charged with fraud and in another one count of fraud and two counts of forgery.

Sosa received another 18-month sentence on those charges, which is also to be served on supervised probation. As part of the agreement in those cases, the state declined to prosecute her on two additional counts of forgery.

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The sentences totaling four and a half years will be served consecutively, or one after another, court documents state.

Sosa was accused of helping her son Daniel Joseph Sosa, 20, of Roswell remove several guns and 3.77 pounds of marijuana from his 300 block of East Church Street residence on Feb.18, after he allegedly shot to death his roommate, Robert Ortega III, 20.

Daniel Sosa allegedly shot Ortega twice: once in the head and once in the back with a Glock 23 .40 caliber handgun while Ortega was lying on his bed playing with his phone, court documents state. After allegedly shooting Ortega, Daniel Sosa called Danny Jo Sosa and told her to come to the house. When she arrived she went inside the house and saw Ortega dead on the bed.

The mother and son then allegedly went to a store before returning to the house and contacting police, according to court documents.

After she and her son told several conflicting stories to the police, court documents state Danny Jo Sosa admitted to taking 3.77 pounds of marijuana and several guns from the house in a duffle bag and placed that duffle bag in a white Toyota pickup truck parked outside her cousin’s 900 block of South Grand Avenue residence.

Police later seized the duffle bag containing those items from the pickup, pursuant to a search warrant.

Court documents state Daniel Sosa faces one count each of first degree murder, willful and deliberate, tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, eight ounces or more. He has since pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Daniel Sosa initially claimed he had heard gunshots and then found Ortega dead. He later claimed that he had shot Ortega once in the back, but that the wound to Ortega’s head was self-inflicted, according to documents.

Investigators though determined that the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted, according to testimony provided in court by a Roswell Police detective.

Daniel Sosa later admitted to police he shot Ortega because he believed his roommate was “the devil” and was going to kill him, court documents state.

Daniel Sosa is being held without bond pending trial on the three criminal counts, after Division II District Judge Thomas Lilley granted the District Attorney’s motion for pretrial detention.

According to court documents, Danny Jo Sosa was released on $5,000 bond following her Feb. 19 first appearance in Chaves County Magistrate Court.

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