Guilty Plea Expected In Las Cruces Murder

Jun 23, 2013

A prosecutor says a young man is expected to plead guilty to a murder charge in the February 2011 death of a Las Cruces man in what authorities said was a botched attempt at revenge.

Prosecutor Jacinto Palomino tells the Las Cruces Sun-News ( that 18-year-old Johnny Ray Vallejos is set to plead guilty to second-degree murder and five other charges on Monday in the death of 57-year-old Julian Pena Sr.

Authorities say Pena was fatally shot in an unsuccessful attempt at revenge for the earlier death of Onate High football player Jerry Zamarripa.

Police say one of the men who sought revenge opened fire on wrong trailer home and killed Pena.

Vallejos would face up to 29 years in prison.


Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.