Nicklus Diminovich 16, of Edgewood, and Bryant Lee Vigil, 17, of Sandia Park, have each been charged with open counts of first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, multiple counts of larceny of a firearm and other crimes in the April 6 murder of Deborah “Debbie” Michele Zeutzius of Edgewood, according to court documents.
They are being charged as adults.
A preliminary hearing for Vigil was held Wednesday and a preliminary hearing for Diminovich is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at District Court in Torrance County.
Torrance County Sheriff’s deputies on April 6 were dispatched to a home concerning a burglary in which several firearms and an unknown amount of ammunition had been taken.
The home had been ransacked and many firearms had been moved around, including some laid out on a bed. At the time, homeowner Alan Zeutzius “expressed great concern that his wife Deborah M. Zeutzius wasn’t home when he got there, saying that this was out of character for Deborah,” court records state.
Deborah’s 1999 silver Buick Park Avenue was also not at the home. The car would later be found by hikers on a wooded part of the road the next day.
A few hours later, Zeutzius called 911 and said that after deputies had left, he searched for his wife on the property and found her body in a workshop behind their home. She had been killed by blunt force trauma to her head, according to an autopsy, court records state.
Then, on April 9, Alan Zeutzius called authorities to say a relative had received a text from a long-time acquaintance wanting to sell firearms. Zeutzius saw photos of the firearms and believed that they were the stolen ones.
The relative confirmed the identity of the sender of the text message. The sender allowed a search of his home, where he admitted that he “had recently obtained several firearms and ammunition that he had a feeling might be stolen because of where he had gotten them,” court records state.
Deputies recovered two pistols, three rifles, numerous magazines, weapons components and ammunition, court records state, all of them identified by Zeutzius as the property stolen from his home.
The text message sender stated that he had gotten the items from Diminovich on the evening of April 6 “within a couple of hours of the estimated time of the occurrence,” court records state.
In statements to law enforcement on April 10, Vigil said that he and Diminovich had walked onto the Zeutzius’ property and entered the workshop and hid, but that Deborah Zeutzius found and confronted them. He said Diminovich hit and killed her.
The pair then went through the main house looking for valuables to steal and found the guns and other items, loaded them into the Buick, which they later dumped, and went to Diminovich’s home on foot.
There, he said, an agreement was struck between himself, Diminovich, and the sender of the text message to sell the stolen property.