A Dona Ana County grand jury has formally charged a man in the deaths of three people.
Authorities arrested 48-year-old Gino Ferri on April 8 for allegedly hiding hundreds of stuffed lions, tigers, bears and other animals in five storage sheds.
The investigation led to Ferri’s arrest April 20 in the deaths of 69-year-old Gilles Delisle, his 72-year-old wife Helga and 68-year-old Peter Weith of San Diego. Authorities say they were killed in the Delisles’ Mesilla home on April 14, 2010. The trio was suing Ferri for $1.3 million
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the grand jury returned an indictment Thursday on three counts of first-degree murder.
April 20, 2011 — Dona Ana County Authorities Announce Arrest in Triple Homicide
A man charged in an April 14, 2010, triple homicide in the Mesilla Hills neighborhood bragged to a friend that the killings “felt good,” Dona Ana County law enforcement authorities said.
Authorities announced Wednesday in Las Cruces the arrest of Eugene “Gino” Ferri, 48, on three counts of first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, unlawful taking of a vehicle and two counts of evidence tampering in connection with the case, the area’s worst in more than two decades.
Ferri was charged Wednesday morning in Las Cruces after waiving extradition from El Paso in connection with other charges filed less than two weeks ago — two counts of improper concealing of property encumbered in a federal bankruptcy case.
The Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office had earlier identified Ferri as the only “person of interest” in the triple homicide, the worst case in the county since the February 1990 Las Cruces Bowling Alley massacre when four people were killed, and three others shot, during a robbery.
Sheriff’s deputies on April 15, 2010, discovered the bodies of Gilles deLisle, 69, and his 72-year-old wife Helga, and their business partner, 68-year-old Peter Weith of California, at the deLisles’ home on Mesilla Hills Drive west of Mesilla.
The deLisles’ attorney had asked the sheriff’s department to conduct a welfare check at their home after the couple failed to attend a court proceeding that morning to foreclose on properties owned by Gino Ferri and his mother Carol Ferri to satisfy debts owed to Weith.
Third Judicial District Attorney Amy Orlando declined to discuss a possible motive in the killings. Sgt. Joe Reynaud, a sheriff’s department spokesman, declined to say whether any other arrests might be made in the case and said the case is continuing to be investigated.
A break in the case developed after investigators used telephone call records and video from convenience store surveillance cameras to identify a man who became a cooperating witness in the case.
The witness, identified as Ricky Huckabay, a renter of a disputed property that had been owned by Ferri’s mother, told detectives that on the day of the killings, Huckabay drove Ferri to the deLisles’ home, and then parked in a lot next to the Rio Grande in Las Cruces to await Ferri.
Ferri, according to the criminal complaint, later arrived at the parking lot driving the deLisles’ white Nissan Pathfinder and said he “f—-d up.” Ferri allegedly made a trip to a bathroom at the park, where a handgun believed to be the murder weapon was found less than two weeks ago. Hours later, when he met Huckabay at a local frozen custard shop, Ferri allegedly told Huckabay about the killings and how “it felt good.”
Ferri is being held on a $5 million cash-only bond at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.