Las Cruces Man Charged In Murder Of His Father

Las Cruces – Dona Ana County Sheriff's Investigators arrested and charged RICHARD SERNA, age 24, for the murder of his father, RICHARD ASTORGA, age 43, (at the time of his death) relating to an incident that occurred on February 16, 2006.

According to Sheriff's Investigators on February 16, 2006, while at their residence located in the 9400 block of Schaffner, Las Cruces, during the course of an argument with his father, SERNA struck his father twice with a baseball bat on the side of his head, resulting in severe brain damage and as a result, his father's health continued to deteriorate until his death on September 29, 2009, while being cared for at a local Nursing home.

SERNA pled guilty to Aggravated Battery against a Household Member (Deadly Weapon) on December 13, 2006, relating to that incident.

SERNA served one year in the Dona Ana County Detention Center and was placed on two years probation.

When ASTORGA passed away, his body was sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator, Albuquerque, for an autopsy.

ASTORGA'S death was ruled as a homicide by the Office of the Medical Investigator relating to the February 16, 2006 incident, on October 6, 2009.

SERNA is currently being detained at the Dona Ana County Detention Center for Violation of his Probation relating to that incident.

Magistrate Judge Joseph Guillory set bond for SERNA at $75,000.00 cash.