Two sentenced in child’s murder

Clovis, NM. – Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler announced today that Demetrio Salas, age 22, and David Griego, age 31, were sentenced this morning for the September 15, 2005 shooting death of 10 year old Carlos Perez.

In October of 2007, a Portales jury found Demetrio Salas guilty of First Degree Felony Murder of Carlos Perez, Attempted Murder of Ruben Perez, Shooting into a Dwelling, Tampering with Evidence, and Intimidation of a State’s Witness. The same jury found David Griego guilty of Accessory to Murder (Second Degree).

Today, the Honorable Judge Bill Bonem sentenced Demetrio Salas to prison for the rest of his natural life plus an additional ten years for his role in the murder. In New Mexico, a defendant sentenced to life in prison is eligible, but not guaranteed, parole after serving at least 30 years. In the event that Salas is granted parole from his life sentence, he will then begin serving the additional ten year sentence. Therefore Salas must serve, at a minimum, a forty (40) year sentence in the New Mexico Department of Corrections.

Furthermore, Judge Bonem sentenced David Griego to the maximum time allowed by law for his role in the murder, which was sixteen (16) years. However, Griego’s sentencing hearing is not yet complete. Griego must return to court within the next thirty days and at that time the District Attorney’s Office will ask the Court to add an additional eight (8) years to Greigo’s sixteen (16) year sentence for a total of a twenty-four (24) year sentence due to the fact that Griego is a repeat offender.

At the jury trial it was proven that on September 14, 2005, Orlando Salas, age 15, wanted to fight Ruben Perez, age 17, at the Clovis High School. The fight never happened, but Orlando Salas recruited his brother Demetrio Salas and friend David Griego to search for Ruben Perez.

In the early morning hours of September 15, 2005, Demetrio Salas and David Griego found Ruben Perez’s apartment in Clovis and together fired nine rounds into Carlos and Ruben’s bedroom window. Although Ruben was unharmed by the shooting, one bullet struck Ruben’s brother, Carlos Perez, in the head. Carlos Perez was pronounced dead the same day. The Clovis Police Department and the Major Crimes Unit of the Ninth Judicial District investigated the case and placed Demetrio Salas under arrest on September 15, 2005 and David Griego was placed under arrest by the Albuquerque Police Department on June 9, 2006.

In 2006, Orlando Salas pled guilty to Accessory to First Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, and Tampering with Evidence for his role in the shooting.

District Attorney Matthew Chandler, Chief Deputy Andrea Reeb and Deputy District Attorney Fred Van Soelen prosecuted the case for the State of New Mexico. For additional information, please contact the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office.