Home News Local News Suspect in Walnut Street shooting held without bond

Suspect in Walnut Street shooting held without bond

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The suspect in an April 25 shooting that left one man dead will remain incarcerated up through his eventual trial on charges of second-degree murder and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

Angel Fresquez (Submitted Photo)

Judge Thomas Lilley of New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court ruled at a Tuesday hearing that 21-year-old Angel Fresquez of Roswell will remain in pretrial detention until the conclusion of his trial or unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Fresquez is accused of fatally shooting 23-year-old JoNicholas Aguilar of Roswell on the evening of April 25 in the 1500 block of West Walnut Street.

In announcing his decision to grant the motion for pretrial detention filed by the District Attorney’s Office, Lilley noted that the gray Grand Am Fresquez was allegedly driving at the time of the shooting had been reported stolen.

The allegation that Fresquez had driven recklessly in the lead-up to the shooting — and followed the vehicle Aguilar was in to the area where the shooting occurred — was evidence that Fresquez seemed to have had a desire for confrontation, Lilley added.

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Lilley said he determined that no conditions of release could be fashioned by the court to reasonably ensure the safety of the public if Fresquez was released.

Taylor Jaggers, deputy district attorney, said in arguing for approval of the motion that in the past eight months, Fresquez failed to appear in court for a preliminary hearing as well as a sentence review in Chaves County Magistrate Court, and had violated his probation.

“So he has racked up a few failures to appear in court in just a few short months, your honor,” Jaggers said.

She also noted that while conducting a review of security camera footage from a drive-thru restaurant in an unrelated case, in which Fresquez is not charged, the Roswell Police Department came across footage that showed Fresquez as a passenger inside a car on April 23, playing with a firearm.

Jaggers noted that possessing a firearm is also a violation of Fresquez’s probation and an indication that if released, he would be unlikely to abide by conditions of release set by the court.

Gary Mitchell, Fresquez’s attorney, said in his closing argument that his client has lifelong ties to Roswell, and would be unlikely to flee.

“He was born and raised in Roswell,” Mitchell said.

Fresquez also does not have a record of felony convictions, is indigent and does not have a vehicle, Mitchell added.

Instead of pretrial detention, Mitchell said, Fresquez should be placed on house arrest and released to the custody of his aunt and uncle, who live in Roswell and have raised him.

Detective Gino Basile of the Roswell Police Department was the only witness called by the prosecution. No witnesses or evidence were presented by the defense.

Basile testified that on April 25, he was dispatched in response to reports of a man — later identified as Aguilar — who had been shot once in the stomach. He then went to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center where Aguilar was still alive upon arrival before dying from his wound.

Basile said the victim’s girlfriend later told him that prior to the shooting she was driving her Suburban, with Aguilar in the passenger seat, while heading south on Montana Avenue when they noticed a gray vehicle — later identified as a Pontiac Grand Am — driving recklessly and swerving back and forth in the roadway.

Once they reached Eighth Street, the Grand Am allegedly stopped in the middle of the street and the victim’s girlfriend said she had to drive around it. Basile added that Aguilar’s girlfriend said she continued south to Second Street, with the gray vehicle following and tailgating her.

Basile testified the victim’s girlfriend told him they eventually reached West Alameda Street, and at the urging of Aguilar, drove to a friend’s house in the 1500 block of West Walnut Street.

When they pulled up in front of the house, the Grand Am came from another direction and came to a halt, with the vehicles parked hood to hood.

Basile testified that the girlfriend said Aguilar then emerged from his girlfriend’s Suburban and went up to the driver’s side of the Grand Am, where Fresquez was allegedly sitting.

The girlfriend, Basile said, told him that at the time, she was in the Suburban tending to her baby when she heard Aguilar raise his voice while standing outside the Grand Am.

When she looked over, Basile said, the girlfriend recounted that she saw Aguilar step back and the muzzle flash from a gun came from the driver’s seat. Aguilar then stumbled backward before collapsing to the ground. The Grand Am then backed up and drove away. The girlfriend identified Fresquez as the driver of the Grand Am.

Basile said he also talked to a woman who, earlier that night, reported that Fresquez had stolen her Grand Am. Basile testified the woman told him that she had driven to the Allsup’s at 6000 South Main Street with Fresquez and that he remained inside her vehicle while she went into the store.

Basile said the woman told police that when she came back out, both her vehicle and Fresquez were gone. Basile added that the woman later told him Fresquez had a gun with him.

Basile confirmed that a passenger in the Grand Am when the shooting happened later confirmed that Fresquez had taken the vehicle and that they subsequently became involved in a confrontation with another vehicle.

Basile added that the passenger in the Grand Am said that when they reached Walnut Street, Aguilar came up to the driver’s side of the Grand Am and punched at Fresquez, just before Aguilar was shot.

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

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