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Father, 50, and son, 31, arrested in connection with Chamita homicide

Andrew Valdez, left, and Mario Valdez (Source: NM State Police)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Two Chamita men believed to be connected to a fatal shooting in Rio Arriba County last month have been arrested and charged after they fled the scene of the March 11 confrontation in which one man was killed and three others were wounded.

Mario Valdez, 31, and his father, Andrew Valdez, 50, were arrested Monday, more than three weeks after Fernando Martinez was shot to death at the Valdez’s residence in Chamita, a small community north of Española. The two had been eluding police and hiding with family members in Española, according to charging documents filed in Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court.

Mario Valdez is charged with first-degree murder, five counts of shooting at or from a motor vehicle, three counts of aggravated battery, possession of a firearm by a felon, tampering with evidence and two counts of aggravated assault. Andrew Valdez is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In addition, Miquela Valdez, 25, was charged with harboring and aiding a felon for her role in concealing the location of Mario Valdez and Andrew Valdez. After the shooting, the two men fled before officers were able to apprehend them.

According to court documents, a group of six people in an SUV arrived at the home of Andrew Valdez in Chamita to buy methamphetamine.

Once there, a woman in the SUV who was trying to purchase the drug went inside and got into an argument with Andrew Valdez, charging documents say. Another man who was in the SUV got out, went into the home and tried to get her to leave, but in the process knocked the methamphetamine to the ground. Andrew Valdez then became more upset and started to hit the man and the woman with a chair before pulling a knife on them, court documents say.

The man and woman ran back to the SUV and started to leave when Mario Valdez and his father started shooting at the vehicle, according to court documents.