ALAMOGORDO – An Otero County grand jury on Tuesday indicted the former leaders of the AZ Boys and one of their associate for their involvement in 2009 double homicide of Maximiliano “Max” Griego III and Mary Aaron Hudson Gutierrez.
Joe D. Chavez Jr. and his brother Robert “Bob” Chavez, the former leaders of the AZ Boys drug trafficking organization that imported large quantities of methamphetamine from Phoenix into Otero County, and their associate Matias Loza are each charged with two counts of first-degree felony murder (willful and deliberate) in the double homicide of Griego and Gutierrez July 5, 2009.
Griego and Gutierrez were found shot in a residence in the 600 block of Montlake Terrace after Alamogordo Police officers responded to shots fired.
Griego, 27, was pronounced dead inside the home after receiving medical treatment for his gunshot wounds at the residence.
Gutierrez, 34, was transported to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, then airlifted to an El Paso hospital, but was pronounced dead at the hospital from her gunshots wounds.
Griego’s sister, Rosemary Hernandez, said her and her family are hopeful that they will finally get justice for their beloved brother and son, and for Gutierrez.
“It has been 9 1/2 years since our world stopped,” Hernandez said. “Above all I want to thank God. I want to thank Kyle Graham and DA Scot Key for making this happen from the bottom of our hearts from the Griego family. I never thought we would get here. Hopefully now we can go on with our lives and get justice and closure, they both can rest in peace.”
Gutierrez’s mother, Mary Diane Hudson, said she believes law enforcement and DA did a good job.
“It might have taken long but they did a good job,” Hudson said. “Everybody did a good job.”
District Attorney John P. Sugg said he was not able to charge the three men with any other offenses connected with the double homicide because everything else was past the statute of limitations.
“We could only charge those (charges),” Sugg said who is the third district attorney to investigate the homicides. “About 2 years ago when I took office, I met with Rosemary Hernandez. Rosemary had just about given up hope as well as her father Max Sr. that we were ever going to get to this point.”
Since Griego and Gutierrez’s homicides in 2009, four Alamogordo Police Department chiefs and 15 detectives assigned to the case.
“We coordinated with the Alamogordo Police Department to have a new detective that was Kyle Graham,” Sugg said. “Graham was assigned to the case a little over 2 years ago. For 2 years we’ve been working continuously to get to this point. Obviously, indictments are not convictions but it’s a significant step that we could take it this far and obtain indictments.”
Currently Loza is serving 12 years in prison for his racketeering conviction. Loza is pending trial for his involvement in the 2011 homicide of Richard Valdez, 31.
Valdez’s deceased body was found in a burned-out vehicle at South Hamilton and San Pedro Drive after Otero County Sheriff’s Office deputies and the Ora Vista Volunteer Fire Department responded to the vehicle fire around 3:30 a.m. Nov. 1, 2011.
Joe D. Chavez Jr. is serving a 48-year prison sentence for racketeering and a life sentence for the murder of Valdez.
Robert Chavez is serving a 36-year prison sentence for racketeering. Robert is pending trial for his connection in the homicide of Valdez.
“The indictments are important for two reasons,” Sugg said. “We’re hoping that this will allow the families to at least start the process of some closure. It’s obviously unsettling when you’re family member is brutally murdered and for years and years the people responsible are never held accountable for it. Hopefully this will start the process where they can have some closure…”
He said he wants the community to know that he will seek justice for victims of murder in his jurisdiction.
“We’re not going to stop however it takes us to put together a solid case and hold those people accountable for what they’ve done,” Sugg said. “We’re not going to stop.”
He said the investigation was a combined effort between the Alamogordo Police Department and the DA’s office.
“We had Graham as the primary agent,” Sugg said. “Fabian Picazo has done a lot of work on it and Preston Eldridge. Brandy Wright with our office and David Hunter who is now retired. All of these people came together. Once we had some consistence’s and a major break in the case last year. We were able to follow up on that information and collect some additional evidence.”
He said he is hoping to have the cases tried in the next year or two.
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