Homicide suspect appears in court
Last updated 6/8/2021 at 4:07pm
CLOVIS - A suspect in a May 14 homicide in Clovis made his first court appearance Monday.
Xavier Lucero, 18, of Fort Sumner, was arraigned in Curry County Magistrate Court on an open count of murder and other charges in connection to the death of 16-year-old Ricardo Gonzales.
Three others, all juveniles, are facing murder charges in the case. Juvenile court records are not considered public documents.
Lucero was arraigned via video from the Curry County Adult Detention Center, where he was booked Friday afternoon following extradition from California. He will remain there with a pretrial detention hold, with the matter pending before district court.
The hearing lasted about 10 minutes, and was largely comprised of Magistrate Judge Shaun Burns listing the charges against Lucero.
Lucero told Burns he planned to hire his own attorney, but requested assignment to the public defender's office in the interim. He otherwise did not speak during the hearing, other than to affirm he understood Burns' explanations and instructions.
He faces a life sentence, defined in New Mexico as 30 years before the possibility of parole, on the murder charge and up to 18 years on charges that include child abuse, shooting at or from a motor vehicle and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Gonzales died after multiple people opened fire on a vehicle in which he was a passenger, police have said. The driver of the car attempted to flee, but crashed into a utility pole. Officials said Gonzales died from injuries suffered in the crash.
According to a criminal complaint filed last month in the magistrate court:
• Police responded to Plains Regional Medical Center just before midnight on May 14 in reference to a car crash victim and a related gunshot victim. A witness at the hospital said the car crash stemmed from an argument that started at a party on the 1200 block of Brady Street and continued at the railroad tracks on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
• The witness said two vehicles - a Dodge truck and a Mercedes sedan - were waiting for the train when a gray sedan pulled up behind both. Multiple people came out and started shooting at both vehicles. One subject was hit by gunfire, and another was injured in a crash as they attempted to flee. A search of the site resulted in the discovery of 31 shell casings from at least three different firearms.
• The driver of the Dodge truck, Miguel Reyes, was struck by a round, treated at University Medical Center in Lubbock for a shattered scapula and later released. The driver of the Mercedes, Daniel Rivera, fled the scene on a railway service road and crashed into a utility pole. Gonzales, a passenger in the Mercedes, later died at PRMC; he did not have any gunshot wounds.
• In subsequent interviews, Lucero and others were identified as shooters.
Officials have said it was not clear what started the argument, noting different witnesses have given different reasons and one or all of them may be true.