Grand jury hearing scheduled in fatal shooting
Last updated 10/6/2020 at 4:57pm
PORTALES — A grand jury hearing is scheduled Oct. 16 for three people alleged to have participated in a drug deal turned fatal shooting. A juvenile accused of being the gunman, however, will not be part of the hearing.
Prosecutor Quentin Ray said the district intends to charge a 14-year-old male as an adult for fatally shooting Brady Vallejos, 19, of Roswell. Vallejos died Sept. 29 at University Medical Center in Lubbock, 18 days after he was shot.
Those matters are being held up, Ray said, pending a determination on whether the juvenile — who is being held in Chaves County — is competent to stand trial. There is generally an intent to handle such hearings within 30 days, but Ray said it depends on the availability of mental health professionals.
“We can’t do a grand jury,” Ray said, “we can’t do anything until that matter is resolved.”
J.J. Hall, appointed as counsel for the juvenile, had no comment when reached Monday at the Office of the Public Defender.
As for the Oct. 16 grand jury hearing, Ray said the state intends to seek indictments for first-degree murder for Jonathan Mendez, 19, and Diego Morales, 18.
Mendez, 19, was indicted Sept. 23 by a Roosevelt County grand jury on charges of armed robbery, aggravated burglary, shooting at or from a motor vehicle, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, tampering with evidence, aggravated battery, shooting at a dwelling or occupied building and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
He is being held in the Roosevelt County Detention Center on pretrial detention.
His attorney, Lance Sumrall, declined comment on the case.
Morales was released Sept. 18 on a $5,000 bond, placed on house arrest between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and ordered not to contact anybody who may testify in a trial. He entered no plea Sept. 14 in Roosevelt County Magistrate Court to armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, tampering with evidence and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
His attorney, Dan Lindsey, previously told The News his client was an “unwilling participant” in the shooting and has cooperated with law enforcement throughout the process.
Also charged in the case are Ashlie Alarcon, 18, of Portales, and Jean Pierre Brodie, 23, of Dexter.
Alarcon was indicted Sept. 23 on charges of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, tampering with evidence and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She was released Sept. 18 on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled for an Oct. 16 arraignment. Her attorney, Elizabeth Han, declined comment.
Brodie, who was in the vehicle with Vallejos when he was shot, was released from the Roosevelt County Detention Center on Sept. 14 on a $2,000 bond, and no hearings are scheduled on the court calendar since the cancellation of an Oct. 16 arraignment. He is charged with conspiracy to commit distribution of a controlled substance.
A call to his attorney, Francis Rio, was not immediately returned.
Rikk Vallejos, Brady’s father, told The News previously his son was in the wrong place at the wrong time and would never knowingly be involved in a drug deal, and only gave Brodie a ride after he paid for a tank of gas and an oil change.
“We pray justice is served,” Rikk Vallejos told The News via email last week.