NM jury split in case involving business rivals

February 6, 2013 • State News

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico prosecutor is considering whether to retry or drop a case against a Las Vegas businessman accused of striking a rival with a two-by-four piece of [auth] lumber.

The Las Vegas Optic ( ) reports that jurors couldn’t reach a unanimous decision last week on whether to convict or acquit Oren Mathews of aggravated battery, a third-degree felony.

Mathew and another gravel business owner had a dispute in 2011 over which business got to provide material for a city repaving project, and there was a confrontation at a work site.

A witness said he saw Mathews strike Miguel Melendez, but Mathews has said it was Melendez who attacked him.

District Attorney Richard Flores’ office said he wasn’t immediately available to comment Wednesday.

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