Clovis man pleads guilty in deadly shooting

Freedom New Mexico

A 63-year-old man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a Clovis woman.

James Fitzpatrick faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Sandra Bousquet, 36, died March 3, 2010, one month after she was shot in the neck at her Clovis residence in the 900 block of Jones Street.

According to court documents, Fitzpatrick, Bousquet’s neighbor, was angry over $100 he believed he was owed and entered a duplex at 921 Jones St. where Bousquet lived with her boyfriend and began hitting another woman, Rita Cuevas, in the head with a .22 caliber handgun.

Fitzpatrick pointed the gun at Cuevas and pulled the trigger. The bullet struck Bousquet, who was seated next to her, records show.

“This was a horrific incident where Sandra, an innocent bystander to an assault, lost her life. It was a senseless act of rage on the part of the defendant that cost the life of someone, and we are prepared to ask the court to sentence the defendant to the maximum time allowed for second degree murder,” said Deputy District Attorney Ben Cross in a press release.

Fitzpatrick will remain in custody and has been ordered to undergo an evaluation prior to sentencing, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office, the release said.