Suspect arrested in slaying in North Valley last year - Albuquerque Journal

Suspect arrested in slaying in North Valley last year

Jesus Javier Torres (MDC)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Bernalillo County deputies called to check on a North Valley mobile home in September 2020 found the front door ajar and Raymond Lovato shot to death on the couch inside.

More than a year later, detectives say they have caught the man responsible.

Jesus Javier Torres Jr., 32, was charged last month with an open count of murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm in the killing of Lovato.

Torres was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Sept. 29 after a confrontation with a fugitive task force outside Route 66 Casino.

Deputies cornered Torres and a woman in the parking lot when the woman began to ram law enforcement vehicles, according to court records. Eventually, the pair gave up and the law enforcement officers found cocaine, fentanyl and Suboxone in the vehicle.

Torres was charged with aggravated battery upon a peace officer, possession and resisting evading or obstructing an officer stemming from his arrest.

Second Judicial District Judge Cindy Leos granted a motion to keep Torres behind bars until trial, citing multiple past probation violations and writing that the evidence against him in Lovato’s death was strong.

According to an arrest warrant filed in Metropolitan Court:

On Sept. 25, 2020, deputies were called around 11 a.m. to do a welfare check at a mobile home near Paseo del Norte and Second NW after gunshots had been heard the night before. They found Lovato shot to death on a couch inside the home.

A woman told deputies she had been with Lovato when a man he knew walked into the mobile home. She said that the man had his hand near his waistband and that she “interpreted his body language” as wanting her to leave.

The woman told deputies she went into another room, heard gunshots and climbed onto the roof. Lovato’s ex-girlfriend told deputies he had become upset with her after she went to California with Torres.

Deputies found calls and messages from Torres to Lovato’s phone in the hours leading to his death. They were able to track Torres’ cellphone as being at Lovato’s house for two minutes at the time of the slaying.

Deputies also found a jail call, after Lovato’s death, between Torres and an acquaintance in which Torres said of Lovato: “I promise you he ain’t going to be running his mouth about (it) no more.”

The detective concluded that the brief amount of time Torres was at Lovato’s indicated he “went there for one specific reason: to kill Lovato.”

Torres has a criminal history that stretches back to 2009 and includes multiple arrests for stolen vehicles, battery and possession. Most recently, Torres was sentenced in 2018 to 2½ years’ probation after pleading guilty to receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle.

Torres eventually served out his sentence at MDC after violating probation.

“Since being on probation, Torres has continued to use drugs, abscond from probation and surround himself with people who are detrimental to his supervision,” a probation officer wrote in a 2019 violation report.


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