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Arrest made in Clovis shooting death (updated)

link Eric Valdez

Staff writer

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Eric Valdez, 40, of Clovis was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with the first-degree murder of Jose Barrera, a Tucumcari man found dead Monday at a vacant house at 413 Sheldon St.

Police said Barrera was shot in the head. They disclosed the arrest Saturday morning in a press release.

According to the release, Valdez admitted shooting Barrera, 33, when questioned by detectives.

Valdez was charged with an open count of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence, according to the release. He was booked at the Curry County Detention Center and his bond was set at $100,000 cash.

link Eric Valdez

The press release states the motive for the homicide stemmed from a conflict involving Valdez’ daughter.

District Attorney Andrea Reeb said Valdez’ daughter is 8 years old. She said Barrera was once romantically linked to the child’s mother.

Detectives are continuing the investigation to provide greater detail to the motive, according to the release.

CPD Chief Steve Sanders was unavailable for comment Saturday afternoon. The police press release noted no further details were available.

Barrera’s body was found by a property manager inspecting the home on Sheldon that had recently been vacated by tenants. Officers who responded found Barrera inside the bathroom.

Barrera’s driver’s license listed a Tucumcari address but police said he was most recently living in Clovis as a transient.

Valdez was arrested following an investigation conducted by the 9th Judicial District Major Crimes Unit, according to the press release.

The MCU was able to develop a timeline of Barrera’s activities prior to being discovered dead. The press release states the investigation led to the identity of Valdez as the perpetrator of the crime, but also states he was taken into custody on an unrelated charge.

Reeb confirmed Valdez had been brought in for questioning as a suspect. She said Valdez was also charged with a probation violation and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Valdez was on probation from a 2009 conviction of battery against a household member, according to the website nmcourts.com.