Albuquerque man convicted in deadly 2020 robbery - Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque man convicted in deadly 2020 robbery

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

A jury found Noah Duran guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder and other charges in the 2020 shooting death of a man during a robbery at a Northeast Albuquerque park.

Jurors apparently agreed with prosecutors, who argued that Duran, 18, and another teenager lured Elijah Mirabal to the park to rob him, then fatally shot Mirabal in an exchange of gunfire.

The 2nd Judicial District Court jury also found Duran guilty of attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, aggravated battery and shooting at or from a motor vehicle.

Duran faces up to 30 years in prison at sentencing. No sentencing hearing has been scheduled.

This trial was Duran’s second on the same charges. A judge declared a mistrial May 2 after a jury deadlocked on all five felony counts.

Duran’s attorney, Ryan Villa, told jurors at trial that Duran returned fire in self-defense after Mirabal pulled a pistol and opened fire, striking Duran four times and seriously injuring him.

Villa told jurors in opening statements last week that the shooting was “simply a drug deal gone bad,” not a robbery.

Prosecutors told jurors that Duran’s codefendant set up a drug deal on the social media platform Snapchat with the intention of robbing Mirabal, 22, at North Domingo Baca Park, near Wyoming and Paseo del Norte.

Mirabal pulled a handgun to defend himself and was killed in the resulting shootout, Assistant District Attorney Guinevere Ice told jurors during opening statements.

Duran was convicted of aggravated battery for shooting a passenger in Mirabal’s car, who was struck in the leg during the exchange of gunfire.

Duran’s codefendant, Jaden Sandoval, 18, also faces charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery in Mirabal’s death. No trial has been scheduled in that case.

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