Press release: Jury delivers guilty verdicts in Wal-Mart stabbing
May 31, 2012
Clovis, NM – Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler announced today that
Guadalupe Murillo, age 32, was found guilty by a Curry County jury of two counts of felony
Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and one misdemeanor count of Unlawful Possession
of a Switchblade.
On August 14, 2010, at approximately 7:30 pm, Carlos Lopez and Celestino Owens, both of
Clovis, entered Wal-Mart with their families to buy food for a cookout. At that time, Guadalupe
Murillo, an employee of Wal-Mart, approached Carlos Lopez and started to threaten to fight him.
During the argument, Murillo pulled a switchblade knife out of his pocket, opened the blade and
proceeded to stab Lopez several times in the chest and arms causing great bodily injury to Lopez.
Owens, while attempting to take the knife away from Murillo, was also stabbed just below the
Following the stabbings, Murillo went back to the automotive section where he was supposed to
be working at the time of the stabbing. Both victims were treated by EMT's at Wal-Mart and
then transported to the hospital for further care. Clovis Police responded to Wal-Mart and were
able to locate Murillo in the clothing section of Wal-Mart and place him under arrest.
District Attorney Matthew Chandler stated, "The District Attorney's Office is extremely pleased
with the guilty verdicts, and we are prepared to seek the maximum sentence allowed by law for
Murillo. We're glad our victims were able to recover from their injuries, and hope that today's
verdict brings them some justice and closure to this heinous act."
The jury deliberated for approximately three hours before returning guilty verdicts on all counts.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrea Reeb and Assistant District Attorney Christopher
Westenberger prosecuted the case for the State. James Klipstine represented the Defendant at
trial and unsuccessfully argued to the jury that his client acted in self-defense. Judge Stephen
Quinn presided over the proceedings. Following the announcement of the verdicts, Sheriff
Deputies took Murillo into immediate custody. A sentencing hearing will be set within the next
90 days where Murillo faces a maximum sentence of 8 ½ years in prison.