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Updated: State Police Investigating Luna County Inmate’s Death

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — 24-year-old who died at Las Cruces hospital last week had been on life support since March 3 Taser incident.

The New Mexico State Police are investigating the death of Deming resident Chris Aparicio, 24, who died last Thursday at Mountain View Hospital in Las Cruces where he had been on life support following a March 3 incident at the Luna County Detention Center in which he was Tasered by a jail officer, the Deming Headlight reported.

Luna County Manager John Sutherland told the Headlight Wednesday that he had requested the investigation.

Aparicio’s mother, Ana Quintana, has said her son was beaten and Tasered too many times, causing unconsciousness and lack of oxygen to his brain, the Headlight said.

County officials said Aparicio was Tasered after he became unruly as he was about to be photographed for booking at the jail and charged at jail officers, the paper reported.

The county had launched its own internal investigation of the incident, but no details have been released, according to the Headlight.

The state Office of the Medical Investigator also conducted an autopsy earlier this week, but has not released any findings pending test results, the Headlight said.


7:35am 3/16/11 — Inmate on Life Support Following Luna County Jail Incident: Jail warden says force was used when 24-year-old charged officers from holding cage on March 3.

Chris Aparicio, 24, is on life support at Mountain View Hospital in Las Cruces following a March 3 incident at the Luna County Detention Center in which Aparicio was Tasered by a detention officer while being taken from a holding cage to be photographed for booking, the Deming Headlight reported.

Jail Warden John Krehbiel said Aparicio charged from the cage and officers responded to the situation, the Headlight said.

“Force was used on him because he became violent toward my guards,” Krehbiel said. “He became violent, sending them across the room. Once he stopped attackeing, we de-escalated.”

Krehbiel said only one guard used a Taser but would not say how many times the Taser was activated, the Headlight said.

An emergency medical technician crew took Aparicio to Mimbres Memorial Hospital in Deming and he was transferred from there to Las Cruces, according to the Headlight.

Aparicio was being booked on a state Department of Corrections warrant for probation violation after calling Deming Police around 8 p.m. that evening to surrender, the paper reported.

Luna County is conducting an in-house investigation of the incident, County Manager John Sutherland told the Headlight.

“We are doing an internal investigation on the situation,” Sutherland told the paper. “It would be inappropriate to comment on it until we know exactly what we have. We have video. John (Krehbiel) has described it. He says it is very clean.”

Meanwhile, Aparicio’s mother, Ana Quintana, says her attorney, Nathan Gonzales of Silver City, has requested records from the jail, the Headlight said.

Quintana said her son told officials he was on drugs and asked not to be touched, according to the paper.

“My son was beaten and was tazed too many times … and his heart stopped,” Quintana said. “He had a long problem of using meth.”

Krehbiel said one guard suffered a broken collarbone during the confrontation, and another sustained a hand injury, the paper reported.

Aparicio moved to Deming from Los Angeles at the age of 7 and attended Deming schools, according to the Headlight.