If you’re among those wondering why it’s a good idea Paul Morales-Ramos is back on the streets rather than in custody after his arrest as part of the investigation into the death of Jacqueline Vigil, shot in cold blood as she sat in her car outside her West Side home last Nov. 19, you’re just going to have to ask your friendly Bernalillo County commissioner.
A search warrant by the FBI-led violent crime task force working the Vigil case says Morales-Ramos, 30, “cleaned” the getaway vehicle used after Luis Talamantes-Romero allegedly shot the 55-year old mother of two State Police officers. (The affidavit shows Morales-Ramos didn’t do a great job, with shell casings found in and outside the vehicle.)
Although Talamantes-Romero has been identified in court documents as the prime suspect and triggerman, he hasn’t been charged in Vigil’s slaying. He is being held in custody in San Antonio, Texas, awaiting sentencing on felony illegal reentry charges. Federal prosecutors have asked the judge there for an enhanced sentence, citing the Vigil case.
Meanwhile, Morales-Ramos has been charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, unrelated to Vigil’s slaying. With no criminal record, state District Judge Victor E. Valdez ordered him released on personal recognizance.