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Murder charge in Ohkay Owingeh case dropped

SANTA FE — U.S. attorneys have dropped a murder charge in a January Ohkay Owingeh shooting for a lack of evidence, according to court documents.

Dennis Velasquez Jr., 24, was charged with killing 53-year-old Phillip Glock after Velasquez shot Glock in the face during a road rage incident across from the Ohkay Travel Center on Jan. 5.

Witnesses had different statements about who the aggressor was, according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI.

A federal judge dismissed the charge Feb. 22 after prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the case. The motion said that “at this time, the Government has learned of evidentiary issues which make it difficult to convict Defendant Dennis Velasquez, Jr. beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial in this matter.”

The case is in federal jurisdiction because it took place on tribal land.