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Shooting suspect to remain in custody pending trial

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A man accused of shooting another man to death outside a Roswell convenience store will remain incarcerated pending trial.

Christopher Smiley (Submitted Photo)7

Court records state that Judge Dustin K. Hunter of New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court on Monday granted a motion by the District Attorney’s Office to keep Christopher Smiley, 32, in pretrial detention.

Evidence was presented that Smiley “presents a danger to the community as a whole and to witnesses in this matter,” court documents state.

Smiley faces charges of first degree murder, willful and deliberate and tampering with evidence in the May 2 shooting death of 27-year-old Brett Patrick at the Allsup’s convenience store at 6000 South Main Street.

In their motion for pretrial detention, the prosecution argued that if released, Smiley would represent a danger to the public based on a decade-long criminal record — which includes violent offenses, at least 13 probation violations in the last 10 years and past failures to appear for several court proceedings.

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Electronic court filings state the defense suggested the motion for pretrial detention be denied. They argued conditions of release could be imposed to ensure safety of individual witnesses and the public.

Conditions of release were considered that included house arrest, a curfew and a GPS monitor. Monetary conditions of release — in the form of a bond — were also considered but ruled insufficient to keep witnesses and the community at large safe.

The court concluded none of those would provide enforceable means of security for witnesses or the public because, court documents state, the conditions “would only provide a basis to revoke (conditions of) release if violated, which would be too late for anyone who might have been harmed.”

Smiley is alleged to have shot Patrick at least four times in the back and side at about 8 p.m. on May 2 while parked at a gas pump outside the Allsup’s, according to court documents. He then reportedly aimed his gun at a woman who was nearby before quickly fleeing in a Hyundai Sonata.

He reportedly abandoned the vehicle at milepost 4 on the Relief Route in the southbound lane after it malfunctioned. Deputies later discovered footprints near where the vehicle was found leading into a nearby open field, according to court documents.

A deputy later found — in holes that appeared to have been dug in the field — a Smith and Wesson six-shot revolver with all but one round fired, two shirts, four plastic bags containing a large but unknown amount of methamphetamine and a key to a Hyundai vehicle, according to court documents.

Smiley was found Saturday May 15 at about 9:30 p.m. when a vehicle he was a passenger in was pulled over by the Roswell Police Department in the area of Bland Street and Atkinson Avenue for having an expired registration. Smiley was subsequently taken into custody.

According to court documents, Smiley was identified as the shooter by at least two eyewitnesses.

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

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