Las Cruces man expected to plead guilty in 2011 death

Posted at: 06/23/2013 2:50 PM
By: Kurt Christopher,

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A prosecutor says a young man is expected to plead guilty to a murder charge in the February 2011 death of a Las Cruces man in what authorities said was a botched attempt at revenge.

Prosecutor Jacinto Palomino tells the Las Cruces Sun-News that 18-year-old Johnny Ray Vallejos is set to plead guilty to second-degree murder and five other charges on Monday in the death of 57-year-old Julian Pena Sr.

Authorities say Pena was fatally shot in an unsuccessful attempt at revenge for the earlier death of Onate High football player Jerry Zamarripa.

Police say one of the men who sought revenge opened fire on wrong trailer home and killed Pena.

Vallejos would face up to 29 years in prison.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)