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Man pleads not guilty to charges in fatal shooting


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Arturo Duran-Lujan

An Albuquerque man accused of fatally shooting a man at a gathering in Roswell has pleaded not guilty to multiple criminal counts.

Arturo Duran-Lujan, 40, was scheduled to appear at a Monday arraignment in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court at the Chaves County Courthouse, but instead waived his right to an arraignment in a signed statement.

In the statement, Duran-Lujan also entered a formal plea of not guilty to charges of second-degree murder; receipt, transportation of a firearm or destructive device by certain persons, felon; and two counts of child abuse, does not result in great bodily harm.

“After reading and understanding the above, I hereby give up my right to personally appear before the district court for arraignment and I hereby enter a plea of not guilty to all criminal offenses charged in the above-style clause,” the statement signed by Duran-Lujan stated.

He is currently being held without bond at the Chaves County Detention Center pending trial on the charges that stem from the fatal shooting of Leroy Jaramillo Acosta, 37, at about midnight April 29 during a family gathering at a 300 block of East Ballard Street residence.

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Court documents state Acosta was shot in the face while standing in front of the residence. He was subsequently transported to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

Duran-Lujan fled the scene before police arrived, but a warrant was later obtained for his arrest. He was later found and arrested in Albuquerque.

According to documents filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court, Duran-Lujan faces the counts of child abuse because a child under the age of 18 witnessed the shooting.

Police were later told by a witness that the shooting was preceded by an argument between the two men.

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.

An affidavit filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court states 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 toward 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.

Deirdre Ewing, an attorney representing Duran-Lujan, in an interview with the Roswell Daily Record in early May, contended the surveillance video is of poor quality and does not provide a clear account of what happened the night of the shooting.

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


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