The first day of New Mexico vs Gregory Hobbs began, Tuesday, as the Archuleta family relived the night of June 15, 2012, when they saw two family members shot. Hobbs is on trial for the possible homicide of Ruben Archuleta Sr. The shooting occurred in the 300 block of East Bonney Street. In opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Emily Maher described how Officer Ryan Craine was alerted to the incident as he finished another call and heard the sound of gunfire. When Craine arrived at the scene, he found Rubin Archuleta Sr. and Rubin Archuletta Jr. shot. Maher then recounted the events that led to the killing of two men.
Defense attorney Anna Marie Bell introduced her statement. “When I think about this case, I thought about the saying: ‘When seconds count the police are minutes away.’” She noted that there were already bad feelings between the family and the residents of Bonney Street following an incident the previous night. She noted that Archuleta Jr. brought a gun to the scene. “By the time the police arrived, the people causing the fight were on the ground.”
State’s first witness, Officer Craine, testified that after he heard the shots he drove straight to East Bonney. He arrived and found 20 people at the scene with “an elderly Hispanic male on the ground with a female leaning over him.” He said, “She was distraught, hysterical. She kept screaming he’s gone.”
Bell inquired about the contamination of evidence, with Mrs. Archuleta touching her husband’s face. Deputy District Attorney Michael Murphy countered by asking if Mrs. Archuleta had removed anything from Archuleta Sr. Craine said no.
He told the court that at first Juan Gonzalez and Hobbs did not respond to his commands, but surrendered voluntarily. ‘Hobbs told me, ‘We’re the victims here.’”
Mrs. Rubin (Maxine) Archuleta Sr. spoke about the confrontation that occurred when Archuleta Sr. stopped his car in the middle of the street. She said she got out to move the car and by the time she had returned, her husband had already been shot.
Bell asked if she had sent her youngest son Max to bring Rubin Jr. to help and she said yes.
Archuleta Sr.’s son took the stand next. He was 13 years old at the time of the incident. Murphy led him through the shock at the time that had left gaps in his memories. The youth said he could recall more now. The memory was returning slowly.
He testified to running to get his brother, Rubin Jr., and returning to Bonney Street. “I only heard one shot and my dad‘s falling to the floor. I seen Gregory shoot my Dad when I was about three feet away.”
Bell went through the boy’s earlier statement where he said he and his mother had attempted to stop her father from confronting Gonzales. The youth testified that he saw his father punch Gonzalez. “He kept saying it wasn’t me.”
Mrs. Rubin (Theresa) Archuleta Jr. described a night that started in front of the television. “The door slammed. We jumped up. Max was back and he was scared.”
According to her testimony, Ruben Jr. took off on foot while she followed in the car. “As I’m pulling up I see Gregory with a firearm in his hand, firing where my husband is.”
She denied seeing Rubin holding a firearm, but she admitted that his back was to her and she could not have seen a weapon in his hands. “I seen Juan with a shotgun, and I kept saying, ‘No. Don’t. Stop, please. Just let me get to him’ … He (Ruben) kept telling me, ‘Help me I’m shot.’” She wept.
Theresa then relayed how she heard the sound of gunfire and turning to see her father-in-law drop.
Bell questioned her about the discrepancies in her statements to the police. Under cross-examination, Theresa acknowledged that her husband owned a shotgun, a fact she withheld from the police during the initial interview. However, she said she did not know if her husband had brought it with him to the scene.
In redirect, Maher took Theresa point-by-point through her statements to the police and she admitted that she tried to block out the night. “I remember hearing my mother-in-law screaming. Everything was happening so fast.”