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Homicide suspect charged in second fatal shooting

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Jeffrey Contreras (Submitted Photo)

A man already being held at the Chaves County Detention Center on criminal counts in connection with one deadly shooting was charged Monday in a second death.

The Chaves County Sheriff’s Office on Monday served Jeffrey Contreras, 25, with an arrest warrant on criminal counts related to the January fatal shooting of Johnny Pacheco Jr., 22, of Roswell, Undersheriff Charles Yslas said Monday.

In Pacheco’s death, Contreras faces one count each of first-degree murder, willful and deliberate; kidnapping, first degree, no intent to commit sexual offense; robbery; tampering with evidence; and aggravated assault, deadly weapon, according to court records.

Contreras is suspected of having fatally shot Pacheco once in the head in late January. Pacheco’s body was found Jan. 22 at 2:16 a.m. in an open field southeast of the intersection of Y.O. and Lupton roads. He was pronounced deceased on the scene.

Contreras also faces charges of first-degree murder, willful and deliberate; tampering with evidence; and receipt, possession or transportation of a firearm or destructive device, felon, in connection with the death of Anthony Vasquez, 57, of Roswell.

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Vasquez was fatally shot in the early morning hours of Feb. 5 while inside an RV trailer with his girlfriend in the 600 block of South Missouri Avenue. Contreras allegedly fired several rounds from a rifle into the RV, one of which struck Vasquez in the back. The woman was not hit by gunfire.

When police arrived at the scene, Vasquez was still alive and was transported via ambulance to a local hospital where he subsequently died from his wound.

The District Attorney’s Office for New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District has filed an expedited motion for pretrial detention and concurrent preliminary hearing in both cases, court records state.

If, following a concurrent pretrial detention hearing and preliminary examination, it is determined that in one or both of the cases Contreras represents a danger to the community or individuals — and no reasonable conditions of release can ensure the safety of the public or potential witnesses — he will remain held without bond up through his trial.

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