Tucumcari man faces murder charge

Thomas Garcia

A 20-year-old Tucumcari man was bound over to district court Wednesday and will face a murder charge in connection with the homicide of Shirley Pacheco, 33.

Quay County Magistrate Court Judge Joel Garnett’s order sending Randall Jones to trial followed a five-hour preliminary hearing.

No date was set for trial.

“We were able to meet the burden of proof to continue with this case,” said Tim Rose, senior trial attorney for the 10th Judicial District Attorney.

Rose said his line of questioning for state’s witness Orlando Martinez was to determine a possible motive for killing Pacheco.

Martinez testified that Jones had talked about robbing Pacheco three times in conversations before the homicide. He said that he had been avoiding Jones prior to July 9 — the day Pacheco’s body was found — in an effort to avoid “the situation.”

Rose asked Martinez to clarify what he meant by “the situation,” to which he replied, “robbing Shirley.”

Pacheco was found dead outside her home on Arapahoe Street in Tucumcari. Martinez testified that Jones admitted he beat Pacheco with a claw hammer.

At the prosecution’s request, Garnett ordered photographs of the crime scene sealed until trial. The judge also denied defense attorney Steve McIlwain’s motion to dismiss charges.

McIlwain, a public defender from Albuquerque, argued the state had failed to provide the manner of Pacheco’s death.

“The state did not tell us in their preliminary reports, nor in today’s proceedings how Pacheco died,” McIlwain said.

An autopsy released by the Office of the Medical Investigator indicates Pacheco died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. The autopsy concluded the death was a homicide and the fatal injuries were from being beaten.