Tucumcari Fugitive Behind Bars

Teodoro Barraza Garcia
Teodoro Barraza Garcia
Detective Jack Hendrickson, Tucumcari Police Department
Detective Jack Hendrickson, Tucumcari Police Department

Some residents in Tucumcari are resting easier after learning the prime suspect in an age old murder is in jail. NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg traveled to New Mexico today to find out how the suspect was caught and what's next in the case.

After eight years on the run, 44-year-old Teodoro Barraza Garcia, wanted in the stabbing death of Jorge Bermundez, is in custody. He was pulled over for DUI in Washington State, when authorities there realized he was wanted for murder.

"He got what he deserved. I thought he was never going to get caught because it's already been 9 years," says Patrick Quintana, who lives right next to where the murder took place.

"It just goes to show if you commit a murder and run, the law is going to get you sooner or later," says Joseph Espino, who remembers the murder well.

Quintana and Espino still live next door to where the murder took place. It stays fresh in their minds.

"When it happened the word was just two drunk guys got in an argument and he waited until he fell asleep and just started stabbing him," says Espino.

It was April of 1999, police say Barraza fled the home and disappeared.

Detectives say they have a solid case against Barraza because of evidence and witnesses who are anxious to speak out.

"She's ready to testify, she says she's tired of looking over her shoulder worrying about him coming after her," says Detective Jack Hendrickson, of the Tucumcari Police Department.

Witnesses may have to wait a little longer to get on the stand. Barraza, now behind bars in Washington, is fighting extradition, which is delaying his date in court.