LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Dona Ana County prosecutors say a man facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with a 2011 shooting has been found guilty.
Eric Marquez was accused of shooting Julian “J.T.” Melendres with a 12-gauge shotgun outside a convenience store along U.S. 70. Melendres died at the scene.
Police say Marquez believed Melendres, a self-proclaimed gang member, had previously shot at his home and confronted him after he was seen driving by his house in a suspicious way.
District Attorney Mark D’Antonio says Melendres’ family can have some closure with Friday’s verdict.
Marquez’s attorney had argued that the shooting was an act of self-defense.
Sentencing for Marquez has yet to be scheduled. He faces life in prison, which in New Mexico means 30 years before being eligible for parole.