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Person of interest now a suspect in stabbing death

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John Eric Lerma, 29, is seen in this photo taken in 2016, according to the Roswell Police Department. (Submitted Photo)

A man who was originally sought as a person of interest in the stabbing death of another man in Roswell Tuesday is now a suspect in that case.

Police Tuesday night obtained an arrest warrant for John Eric Lerma, 29, of Roswell, on charges of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence, Todd Wildermuth, public information officer with the Roswell Police Department, said Wednesday morning.

Lerma, according to a press release issued late Tuesday, is described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 185 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

People with information that could lead to Lerma’s location or information pertinent to the case should contact the RPD at 575-624-6770 or Chaves County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-594-8477.

Detectives initially named Lerma as a person of interest in their investigation into the death of Mario Zion Olivas Jr., 20. Olivas was from Dexter but at the time of his death was staying in Roswell.

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Olivas, according to a press release late Tuesday, was allegedly stabbed at about 8:30 a.m. in the driveway of a 200 block of West Mathews Street residence during an altercation between multiple people. He later died at an area hospital.

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

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