Trial begins in a first-degree murder case

Roswell, NM - A 25-year old Roswell man is facing life in prison if convicted in the April death of a Tucumcari truck driver.

Opening arguments began today in Brandon Barela's first-degree murder trial over the death of 51-year-old Ron Hittson, whose body was discovered near Clovis.

Witnesses told police Barela, a co-worker and Hittson left the bar and were driving when Barela stopped, got out with Hittson and started beating the guy with a rock.

Barela is also charged with first-degree kidnapping, robbery, tampering with evidence and battery.