Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

AG Balderas Announces Eddy County Murderer, Armed Robber to Stay in Prison after Supreme Court Upholds Conviction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 7, 2017

 Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-216

Artesia, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the New Mexico Supreme Court agreed with the Office of the Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division and affirmed Senovio Mendoza’s first-degree murder and armed robbery convictions. In January 2012, Mendoza was smoking methamphetamine and then drove from his home in Carlsbad to Artesia with two other men to demand money from Timothy Wallace. Mendoza concocted an armed robbery plan whereby the men bought knit caps from Walmart and then stormed Wallace’s house proclaiming to be the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force. Mendoza’s co-defendant shot Wallace to death in his own home and then they robbed him.

“Keeping the most dangerous, violent offenders in New Mexico behind bars is our priority, and I’m thankful for the work of our law enforcement partners in Eddy County,” said Attorney General Balderas.

Mendoza appealed his conviction claiming the State provided insufficient evidence that he possessed the mens rea required for a felony-murder conviction and challenged the expert status of a bloodstain witness who testified in the case. The Supreme Court rejected both challenges and affirmed the convictions. This convictions were secured by the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Please see attached for a photo of Mendoza and copy of the Supreme Court decision.

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Raul Torrez

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