Regional
1:43 pm
Tue March 30, 2010

WSMR Analyst Charged With Murdering Sister

Las Cruces – Richard Scott Zikmanis now faces an open count of murder after his sister, Denise Zikmanis, died Monday afternoon at University Medical Center of El Paso.

Richard Scott Zikmanis, 40, of the 3700 block of Agate Street in Las Cruces, was originally charged with one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. With his sister's death, he now is charged with an open count of murder.

Denise Zikmanis, 43, of Fort Benton, Mont., was in critical condition when she was airlifted early Saturday morning to University Medical Center. She was pronounced dead just after 2 p.m. Monday, March 29.

Las Cruces Police detectives learned that Denise Zikmanis was in Las Cruces Friday evening visiting with family. Las Cruces Police detectives learned that Denise and Richard were consuming alcohol late Friday evening and into Saturday morning when an argument ensued.

Detectives learned that shortly before 1:30 a.m. Saturday, March 27, Richard Zikmanis fired one shot from a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun that struck his sister. Other family members were startled awake by the sound of the gunshot and found Denise in the kitchen suffering from a gunshot wound.

LCPD officers took Richard Zikmanis into custody shortly after the shooting as he exited the garage at his residence. Zikmanis remains at the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond now set at $75,000.