Life Sentence In Las Cruces Killing

Las Cruces, NM – LAS CRUCES,N.M. (KRWG) A Las Cruces man has been sentenced to life plus 21 years in prison after a jury returned a guilty verdict in a 2007 murder.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports a jury deliberated a half hour before convicting 27-year-old Moises Menchaca Thursday of shooting and killing 36-year-old William Lucero after an alcohol-fueled altercation about gang colors at a late-night party on Sept. 8, 2007.

The case will be automatically appealed to the New Mexico Supreme Court because it involves a life sentence. Menchaca will have to serve 51 years in prison before he's eligible for parole.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. KRWG