FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2016
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Santa Fe, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas announced today that the New Mexico State Supreme Court ruled to uphold the first-degree murder conviction against Santana Serrano, who was convicted in March of 2015 in the Fifth Judicial District Court.
“Our office remains committed to ensuring that the state’s most violent offenders are brought to justice,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. This includes fighting to uphold convictions that are hard fought by local district attorneys.”
In May of 2014, Santana Serrano’s boyfriend, Deandre Gonzales, fatally shot sixteen-year-old Daniel Garcia following a scuffle outside a local venue in Hobbs, New Mexico, called “The Spot.” As the altercation between the teens escalated, Serrano, who was in possession of the gun, provided the weapon to Gonzales, who proceeded to shoot the victim point blank in the head. Cell phone video from two bystanders who captured the events leading up to the shooting became the key evidence presented to the jury by the state during the trial. Serrano and Gonzales were ultimately convicted of first-degree murder.
The Supreme Court ruled this week, in upholding the convictions, that the cell phone evidence that depicted the events was properly introduced in evidence and that the prosecution did not err in highlighting portions of the cell phone video in closing argument. The Court ruled that Serrano’s guilt was not doubtful and this was a “classic case where the jury had to resolve conflicting testimony and determine Defendant’s intent in light of all the evidence.”
See attached for photo of Santana Serrano.
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