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Jury selection begins in trial of man accused of killing wife

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a man charged with murder in the 2017 death of his wife.

Castulo Michael Aragon (Submitted Photo)

Prospective jurors arrived at the Chaves County Courthouse in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District at 9 a.m. for the first day of the trial of Castulo Michael Aragon, 59. As of Monday afternoon, a jury still had not been selected.

Electronic court records state Aragon’s trial on one count of first-degree murder, willful and deliberate; and three counts of tampering with evidence, was scheduled to last from Monday until July 2.

Aragon was located in Minnesota in September 2019 and indicted by a grand jury that same month on all four counts in connection with the March 2017 death of his wife, 49-year-old Maria Aragon.

Maria Aragon’s body was found March 6, 2017 along U.S. Highway 285 at mile marker 166, approximately 50 miles north of Roswell, about 10 hours after she had been reported missing.

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Court records state the Office of the Medical Investigator later determined Maria Aragon “died from the result of blunt force trauma sustained to the head, strangulation and multiple stab wounds to the chest.”

Court records also indicate blunt injuries were inflicted on Maria Aragon “over a period of time” and that the injuries to her head had been sustained about 24 hours before her death.

Investigators later searched the Aragons’ two residences — one in the 1700 block of West Alameda Street and the other in the 5700 block of Seward Avenue — and Maria Aragon’s white Honda CRV. Traces of blood were found that, according to court documents, were a positive DNA match to that of Maria Aragon.

Surveillance video also showed a Honda CRV matching the description of the vehicle driven by Maria Aragon traveling south on U.S. 285 at 6:41 a.m. on March 6, court records state.

Castulo Aragon in October 2019 entered a plea of not guilty on all counts. In past interviews with the Roswell Daily Record, he denied any involvement with the crime and said he had loved his wife, who was a deaf and hearing specialist with the Roswell Independent School District.

Castulo Aragon is being held in pretrial detention at least until the conclusion of his trial.

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