Suspected charged in Saturday morning homicide

Suspected charged in Saturday morning homicide

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Las Cruces Police have arrested the man suspected in Saturday morning’s shooting death of 21-year-old Benjamin Montoya.

Joel Arciniega-Saenz, 21, of 2205 W. Picacho Ave., is charged with an open count of murder.

At about 6 a.m. Saturday, April 22, police were dispatched to the report of a shooting at 2205 W. Picacho Ave. Officers arrived to find Montoya suffering from at least one gunshot wound to his chest. Montoya was transported to a local hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Investigators learned that Montoya and his girlfriend were at Saenz’s apartment when they began to argue with each other. A witness indicated to detectives that the two argued outside of the apartment and continued their argument once they entered the residence.

A short time later, the witness claimed to hear what appeared to be a gunshot. After looking outside, the witness saw Saenz and the woman standing over Montoya’s body in the parking lot.

Saenz and the woman initially gave detectives conflicting accounts to what happened but evidence at the scene pointed to inaccuracies in the suspect’s statement. The woman later acknowledged that Saenz was indeed responsible for Montoya’s death.

Saenz was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond.

Arciniega-Saenz Joel 19960405
Editor’s note: Booking photo of Arciniega-Saenz courtesy Doña Ana County Detention Center.

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