Retrial begins in case of 2006 shooting

CNJ staff

A second trail has begun for a 35-year-old Clovis man whose first-degree murder conviction was overturned by the New Mexico Supreme Court in 2009.

Robert “Pelon” Macias’ is charged with murder in the January 2006 shooting of 19-year-old Wilfred Salas Jr.

Jury selection was held Monday in the 9th Judicial District Court.

Macias was sentenced to a life term plus 22 years after being convicted by a jury in 2007.

The state supreme court said now-retired District Judge Joe Parker erred in allowing a two-minute telephone call between Macias’ girlfriend and her cousin discussing the killing to be played for the jury because their statements were hearsay.

The cousin was in jail at the time.

The girlfriend, Jessica Gutierrez, talked about Macias making admissions about the killing to her.

Court records show nearly 30 witnesses have been subpoenaed for the new trial, the majority of whom testified in the first trial.

Salas was killed by a single gunshot to the head in the early morning hours of Jan. 15, 2006, as he drove on Merriwether Street.

Prosecutors said Macias shot Salas because he had overheard him making fun of him earlier in the evening.

Macias, who took the stand in his own defense at the trial, testified he was sleeping at a friend’s house when the shooting took place.

The trial was scheduled for Nov. 15, but was postponed at the request of the defense.