NMSP arrest Gomez for homicide

December 31, 2013 • Local News


The New Mexico State Police arrested Adalberto (Albert) Gomez, 24, in Las Cruces around 7 p.m. Monday. Gomez was wanted on charges of murder for [auth] the slaying of Juan (Pun) Gonzales that occurred around 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, when officers from the Roswell Police Department responded to Pecan Place in reference to a shots-fired call. Upon arrival, officers discovered Gonzales, 26, dead on his living room floor as the result of gunshot wounds.

Gonzales was a witness for the defense, following in the July 15, 2012, shooting death of Ruben (Hammer) Archuleta Sr., 48, and Ruben Archuleta Jr., 19. Gregory Hobbs was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after he shot the two men in defense of his friend Pun. Since that time, the situation between Gonzales and Archuleta family members was described as tense.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court, Monday, the suspect arrived at Gonzales’ home and started shooting through the front door. Initial reports from family members were confused with several different descriptions of both the suspect and the vehicle. A family member told officials that she ran from her house into the other house to get the babies out of the bathroom.

Later, the court document reports, lead investigator Detective Kim Northcutt observed two bullet holes, just above the bath tub, in the bathroom, one bullet strike, which split the bath tub, on the north side and another bullet strike on the bath tub on the south side. Bullet holes were also located on the arms of the couch where Pun had been sitting and bullet holes on the south wall of the living room. One bullet hit a gas line on the oven and the gas to the residence had to be turned off.

The law enforcement agencies worked together with the tips coming in to the RPD from the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Attorneys office, Las Cruces police and the New Mexico State Police. Chaves County Sheriff’s Office reviewed cell phone records pertaining to the case, while the New Mexico State Police made the actual arrest. During the investigation, detectives had to eliminate a number of possible suspects, including Manuel (Manny) Archuleta, Carlos V. Franco, Mark Chavez, Philip Gonzales, Jessie Grajeda and an allegedly hired gun from Albuquerque.

The affidavit of criminal complaint states that Manny denied any stress or harsh words between the Gonzales family and his family.

The tips and people interviewed recorded in the criminal complaint called to mind other homicides. Juan’s sister Jolie Horton’s husband, Angel Gabriel Horton, was murdered in November 2010. She still grieves the loss of her husband and hopes someone will contact the police with information. The detectives recognized the name “Franco” and looked up 35-year-old Marquez Franco, who was killed in the 1400 block of West Hendricks Street in 2012. However, it should be noted that these cases may have no association to the Gonzales case.

Christoper Trujillo was arrested on Nov. 11, for the murder of Victor Oaxaca that occurred on Oct. 23, 2013, at Variety Liquors. James Stewart, once listed as a person of interest in the Tony Macks shooting, was killed on July 17 this year.

The complaint states Gomez was Macks’ stepson. Macks was shot and killed in March of this year on South Mulberry. Raymond Hobbs was apprehended and charged with second- degree murder. A witness reported Gomez wanted to shoot Pun since Raymond and Gregory Hobbs were both in jail. During a search of Gomez’s residence, officials found a picture of Macks on Gomez’s dresser.

Gomez has been charged with murder, two counts of abandonment or abuse of a child for endangering the children who were inside the home, and as a felon in possession of firearms.

Gomez had been arrested in 2006 on charges of shooting at or from an occupied dwelling. He was taken to the Doña Ana County Detention Center where he remains with a $1,000,000 bond.

People who have information about any of these crimes are asked to contact the RPD 575-624-6700.

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