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Winery owner charged in slaying

Timothy Lopez (State Police)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The owner of a northern New Mexico winery is accused of fatally shooting a man in the head on Thanksgiving morning in a small town near Española, according to New Mexico State Police.

State Police spokesman Ray Wilson on Saturday said Timothy Lopez, 53, is being charged with an open count of murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the Nov. 26 death of 58-year-old Thomas Velarde in Alcalde.

Police said both men are from Velarde.

Lopez, the owner of Wicked Kreations Winery in Velarde, was booked into the Rio Arriba County Detention Center on Friday.

A criminal complaint had not been filed as of Saturday evening.

Lopez’s wife, Lynsey Horcasitas, said she is still in shock over the news and doesn’t know what led up to the incident.

“My husband is a disabled war veteran and an incredibly kind person. Our family is hurting right now not having him here,” she told the Journal. “We are not only praying for my husband but also for the family of the deceased.”

Wilson said officers responded around 11:30 a.m. to a shooting at La Tiendita on N.M. 68 near Mile Post 8 in Alcalde. Arriving officers found Velarde dead with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

He said Lopez, who was still on scene, was taken into custody after he was determined to be the suspect in the shooting.

State Police did not release any more details about the case.

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