Regional
5:05 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Man Arrested In Las Cruces Murder

Las Cruces – Las Cruces Police have arrested 26-year-old Eric Marquez for Thursday evening's shooting that resulted in the death of a man on the city's East Mesa.

Marquez, of the 5000 block of Ortega Road, is charged with an open count of murder in the death of 22-year-old Julian "J.T." Melendres.

At around 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, police were called to a report of shots fired just outside a convenience store at 5701 Jornada Rd. Officers arrived and found Melendres on the ground with two gunshot wounds to his upper torso. Melendres was pronounced dead at the scene.

Marquez voluntarily turned himself in to police shortly after the shooting.

LCPD detectives learned that prior to the shooting Marquez had received a phone call from a friend stating that Melendres was driving by his residence in a suspicious manner. Marquez had suspected Melendres of shooting at his home in the past.

Marquez, who was not at his residence at the time, began driving home when he noticed Melendres' pickup parked at the convenience store on Jornada Road.

Detectives learned that Marquez, armed with a shotgun, pulled into the store's parking lot and fired multiple rounds while exiting his vehicle and closing distance with Melendres.

Marquez then fled from the area and subsequently called police.

Las Cruces Police recovered the shotgun believed to have been used in the shooting from Marquez's residence.

Marquez is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center with a cash-only bond set at $100,000.