A man who was recently paroled is back behind bars in a 23-year-old homicide at an East Central motel.
David Ortega, 47, is charged with an open count of murder in the August 1997 death of Edd Thompson, 48. He was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Monday.
Ortega was indicted in Thompson’s death last year while serving time in connection with two break-ins and a vehicle theft in the Albuquerque-area.
Douglas Wilber, Ortega’s attorney, called the case “a mess” due to a lot of evidence being gone.
“I’m pretty confident that Mr. Ortega will be vindicated…if this case is going to go to trial, should be a fun one,” he said.
Albuquerque police found Thompson on Aug. 28 strangled in a room at the now-defunct Nendel’s Valu Inn, near Central and Wyoming.
At the time, police said the apparent motive was robbery and Thompson’s wallet and truck were missing. The truck was found a month later in Aurora, Colorado.
Ortega has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1996 that includes multiple arrests on stolen vehicle, burglary and possession charges.