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Suspect in deadly shooting pleads not guilty

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The suspect in a May shooting outside a south Roswell convenience store that left one man dead has pleaded not guilty to two criminal counts.

Electronic court records state that Christopher Smiley, 32, appeared via Google Meet June 15 at his arraignment in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court, where he entered a formal plea of not guilty on charges of first-degree murder, willful and deliberate; and tampering with evidence.

Smiley is accused of shooting to death 27-year-old Brett Patrick on May 2 at about 8 p.m. outside the Allsup’s convenience store in the 6000 block of South Main Street.

According to court records, two eyewitnesses identified Smiley as the individual who allegedly shot Patrick multiple times in the side and back while parked near a store gas pump. Smiley then allegedly aimed the gun at a woman at the scene before fleeing in a Hyundai Sonata.

The vehicle was later found abandoned in the southbound lane of the Relief Route near mile marker 4, after it had malfunctioned. A warrant was issued for Smiley’s arrest.

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Court documents state Chaves County sheriff’s deputies, after finding the vehicle, discovered footprints leading from the abandoned Sonata into an adjacent field. When they later followed the footprints onto the land, deputies reported finding a Smith and Wesson six-shot revolver with only one round left in it, two shirts, four bags containing methamphetamine and a key to a Hyundai vehicle.

Smiley was later found and taken into custody May 15 at about 9:30 p.m. during a traffic stop conducted by officers with the Roswell Police Department in the area of Bland Street and Atkinson Avenue. He is currently being held in pretrial detention while awaiting trail.

Court records state that Judge James Hudson, at the arraignment, scheduled a jury trial in the case for Nov. 30.

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