Acquitted man in plea deal

SANTA FE, N.M. — A man who was acquitted of murder in trial last month is expected to plead to lesser charges, according to Assistant District Attorney Susan Stinson.

Under a deal with prosecutors, Adrian Gonzales, 31, of Dixon, would spend two years on supervised probation. The plea hearing is scheduled to be heard in state District Court on Thursday.

Gonzales was accused of stabbing Victoriano Moises “Moe” Byrne Gonzales (no relation), 21, to death on Dec. 2, 2011, and stabbing and injuring Byrne Gonzales’s friend Santiago Cordova. The two confronted Adrian Gonzales in the Butterfly Springs mobile home park in Pojoaque, believing that he was attacking his girlfriend.

In the trial, prosecutors referred to the pair of victims as “good Samaritans” who attempted to help the woman. Gonzales’s defense attorneys argued that the men were “bullies” looking for a fight and that Gonzales stabbed the men in self defense.

The jury deliberated for about three days before finding Gonzales not guilty of first- or second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. They also acquitted him of a charge of battery against a household member. The jury was hung on the final charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated battery, meaning the district attorney could have brought charges against Gonzales later.

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Under the plea deal, Gonzales would plead guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated battery, according to Stinson. Stinson said Gonzales has 16 months of pre-sentence confinement credit, leaving two years and eight months on a potential maximum sentence. The plea deal would suspend the eight months, leaving Gonzales with two years of probation.

The deal does not include an alleged probation violation connected to a federal drug conviction, Stinson said. She said federal prosecutors will decide how to handle that case.

Gonzales is being held in the Santa Fe County jail, according to online jail records.

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