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California man charged in NE ABQ slaying

Franklin Gallegos (Source: MDC)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A California man is behind bars after police say he shot another man in a friend’s Northeast Albuquerque apartment earlier this month and hid the gun in a nearby park.

Franklin Gallegos, 37, is charged with an open count of murder, tampering with evidence, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the Aug. 9 death of 34-year-old Daniel Sias, who is also from California.

New Mexico State Police arrested Gallegos in Las Vegas, New Mexico, last week, and he has since been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.

A woman called 911 around 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9 after finding Sias cold to the touch and covered in blood inside her unit at the Arioso Apartments near Montgomery and Pennsylvania NE. Sias was pronounced dead at the scene.

The criminal complaint against Gallegos is sealed pending a judge’s order, but the details of his alleged involvement in Sias’ killing were revealed in a search warrant affidavit filed in 2nd Judicial District Court on Wednesday.

According to the affidavit, the woman who found Sias’ body had been letting Gallegos, who is from San Diego, stay at her apartment in the weeks before the slaying. The next day, officers found Gallegos at the tattoo shop where he works. Police say he was wearing bloody clothes and had an open wound on his elbow. Gallegos was released “pending further investigation” after he asked for a lawyer and refused to answer questions.

One of Gallegos’ co-workers told police he had loaned Gallegos his revolver “for protection” before the homicide, and a frantic Gallegos returned later saying he had shot someone and buried the revolver in a park afterward.

“(Gallegos) told him he had been partying with some guys and had been trying to kill this guy for awhile,” a detective wrote.

According to the affidavit, a friend of Sias and Gallegos showed up to the police station and wanted to talk to a detective about the homicide. The man told detectives Sias had recently come into town and met up with him and Gallegos at a bowling alley in northeast Albuquerque. The man said the three of them took an Uber to the tattoo shop and ended up at the Arioso Apartments, where they drank beer. The man told police, at some point, Gallegos got offended when Sias called him “my (racial slur)” and Sias tried to apologize. He said Gallegos pulled out a black revolver and shot Sias before Sias tackled him and the two men began fighting on the apartment floor.

The man told police he and Gallegos both left Sias in the apartment and, since the homicide, Gallegos has been asking him to help by saying the shooting was in self-defense.

Albuquerque police issued a warrant for Gallegos’ arrest on Aug. 14, and State Police arrested him a few hours later.

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