A local judge Monday approved the state’s motion for a no-contact order in the case of a man accused of shooting to death his own brother and then allegedly trying to impact testimony provided by a relative during a court proceeding.
Judge Thomas Lilley granted the motion filed by the Office of the District Attorney in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District in the case of Alberto Ceballos, 34, of Roswell, during a hearing that took place via Google Meet, court documents state.
The order prevents Ceballos from directly or indirectly communicating with individuals who could be called to testify in his criminal trial, which according to court records is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 1.
When reached for comment about the order Tuesday, Martin Juarez, Ceballos’ attorney, declined to comment on the case.
The motion was filed by the district attorney’s office after a July 6 pretrial detention hearing where, according to court documents, Ceballos made gestures toward a child relative called to testify.
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“While the child was testifying, the defendant was admonished no less than three times for nodding and shaking his head in an attempt to influence the child’s testimony,” court documents state.
No-contact orders are typically entered into by the court when a defendant in a criminal case is either released on bond or their own recognizance pending trial.
But because Ceballos is being held without bond until the conclusion of his trial or pending further order of the court, no such order had been issued.
Ceballos is charged with one count of first-degree murder, willful and deliberate in connection with the June 24 early morning fatal shooting of his brother Omar Ceballos, 40, at a 200 block of Atkinson Avenue residence. He has since pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Omar Ceballos was shot a total of five times: once on the outer region of his left arm and another four times between his chest and waistline, according to court documents.
The mother of both the victim and suspect contacted police at about 2 a.m. following the shooting. Omar Ceballos was pronounced dead on the scene soon after medics arrived.
Several relatives of the two men were in the house at the time of the shooting, with one claiming to have seen Alberto Ceballos run outside with a gun in his hand soon after shots were fired.
Following the shooting, Roswell police announced they were seeking Alberto Ceballos for questioning. A warrant was later issued for his arrest.
Alberto Ceballos was found and taken into custody June 24 during a traffic stop in the 1500 block of Old Dexter Highway.
Relatives described Alberto Ceballos as paranoid, according to court documents. One man who spoke with the suspect a day before the shooting said Alberto Ceballos “did not seem to be in his right mind” at the time. He also vowed to “take care” of people who he claimed were hurting his mother.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or email@example.com.