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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Son indicted in murder of father

9-14-2006 New Mexico:
GRANTS — A 19-year-old Gallup man has been indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in the Aug. 12 death of his 47-year-old father.

The 13th Judicial District Grand Jury for Cibola County returned its true bill Wednesday against Arthur Baca Jr., accusing him "without lawful justification or excuse by any of the means with which death may be caused, and did so knowing that such act which caused the death created a strong probability of great bodily harm or death to Arthur Baca Sr., and did not act upon sufficient provocation, a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion."

If eventually convicted and given the maximum punishment Baca Jr. would serve nine years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine.

Baca Sr. allegedly abused his son and wife, Joyce Estrada, 44, near the Laguna Pueblo that Saturday, although Lt. Rick Anglada of the New Mexico State Police Division said in a story in The Independent on Aug. 15 that authorities found no signs of abuse on the son or mother.

The family spent time in Albuquerque that Sunday and allegedly began arguing on the way back to Gallup. The family stopped near the junction of State Hwy. 6 (the Belen cutoff) and Interstate 40. The mother and son then beat the elder Baca, stabbed him, then left him still alive on the highway. State police said the wounded man managed to walk about 400 feet before collapsing, then died.

When state police contacted Estrada and Baca Jr., as the next of kin, they became suspicious and obtained confessions, first from the mother, then the son and arrested both on the second-degree murder charges.

Estrada's case remains pending. ..more.. by Jim Maniaci

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