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Charges against suspect in fatal shooting amended

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Gamez to remain in custody pending trial

A Roswell man initially charged with two counts of second-degree murder in a fatal double shooting has had one count against him dropped and the other reduced to a lesser count of voluntary manslaughter.

Ignacio Gamez (Submitted Photo)

According to an amended criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office Tuesday in Chaves County Magistrate Court, Ignacio Gamez, 29, is now charged with voluntary manslaughter in the Sept. 1 shooting death of Crystal Aguilar, 38, of Roswell. No charge is listed in the complaint related to the other victim in the shooting, Mark Montoya, 33, of Roswell.

The shooting occurred in a 500 block of South Kansas Avenue residence.

In the amended complaint, Gamez also faces two other criminal counts related to the case: tampering with evidence and receipt, transportation or possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon.

When asked about the altered charges, Emily Fry, deputy district attorney for New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District, who signed the amended complaint, said the charges were updated after the prosecution was made aware of new information.

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“That information is what supports the modified charges,” Fry said.

When asked for additional details about the new information, Fry declined to comment further.

During a pretrial detention hearing in the case Wednesday in District Court in Chaves County, an investigator confirmed there had been new developments in the investigation since the original complaint was filed.

Gino Basile, a detective with the Roswell Police Department, testified at the hearing that a woman who was an eyewitness in the shooting had come to the police station with new information in the case on Sept. 10.

She told investigators that in the moments leading up to the shooting, Montoya and Aguilar had demanded that Gamez give them the keys to his Chevy Suburban as payment for money he owed Montoya.

The female witness said she and Aguilar eventually became involved in a physical altercation. The female witness said that Montoya became involved and was about to hit her with a baseball bat when Gamez pulled a handgun out of a backpack and shot both Montoya and Aguilar, Basile said at the hearing.

Two men who accompanied the female witness to the police station gave similar accounts of what happened, Basile said. One said he had witnessed the shooting.

Basile said the female witness also claimed Montoya had two guns at the time of the shooting, though none were found on Montoya, in his vehicle or on the property when police arrived.

During the hearing, Basile said Aguilar was pronounced dead at the scene. Montoya, who was also injured, was alive at the time and transported to a hospital for treatment.

Though he was expected to live, Montoya died Sept. 3 while undergoing surgery at an El Paso medical center.

Gamez was subsequently located in the zero block of Van Ruben Place, where police were dispatched. After 20 minutes, Gamez exited the residence and was arrested on an outstanding warrant in an unrelated case.

In his decision at Wednesday’s hearing on the motion by the District Attorney’s Office to hold Gamez without bond pending trial, Judge Jared Kallunki acknowledged there had been new developments in the case in recent days.

However, he said some of the evidence in the case, as well as the fact that Gamez — a felon — was in possession of a firearm at the time of the crime and was wanted on an outstanding warrant in another case led the court to believe that if released, he would be a flight risk and a danger to the community.

The matter of his detention, Kallunki said, could be reopened if additional evidence becomes available.

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

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