Portales Man Found Guilty of First Degree Murder - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

PRESS RELEASE

Portales Man Found Guilty of First Degree Murder in 17- Year Old Cold Case

PRESS RELEASE

Portales Man Found Guilty of First Degree Murder in 17- Year Old Cold Case

Portales, NM:  Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler announced that Arnoldo Navarette, age 40, was convicted today of First Degree Murder and Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon for the 1993 murder of Portales resident, Reynaldo Ornelas, Sr.

The conviction results from May 30, 1993 when Navarette and a co-defendant drove to a Portales residence and opened fire on Reynaldo Ornelas, fatally injuring him.  Another by-stander was shot in the arm as a result of the incident.  After a thorough investigation, Portales Police Department issued an arrest warrant for Arnoldo Navarette.  However, Navarette was never arrested for the crime, having fled the state immediately after the shooting occurred.  Navarette became a fugitive from justice and an outstanding warrant was issued. In June of 2009, 16-years later, Navarette was apprehended by authorities in Odessa, Texas and admitted to hiding in Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. 

After three hours of deliberation, the Roosevelt County jury came back with guilty verdicts on all counts. 

District Attorney Matthew Chandler said, "This is a case where police officers, the prosecution, and most importantly, the victim's family never gave up on finding justice.  And, today a long awaited justice was served for both the victim's family and the defendant".

Navarette now faces a maximum of life in prison at a sentencing hearing that will be set in the near future.   

District Judge Drew Tatum presided over the proceedings and Deputy District Attorney Donna Mowrer and Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover prosecuted the case for the State.

For additional information, please contact the Ninth Judicial District Attorney's Office or visit www.9thda.com.                                                      

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