Homeless man accused of beating motel worker appears in court


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The homeless man accused of almost beating a motel worker to death will remain behind bars for now. Monday in court, Juan Gonzales’s lawyer showed police video to argue that they have the wrong guy.

Police believe the homeless man attacked the manager at the Days Inn near Central and I-25 after he wouldn’t let him stay another night. In court Monday, prosecutors described the violent attack and argued for him to stay locked up until trial.

“No only beat the clerk with his fists, he stomped on her. Then he proceeded to grab scissors and stabbed her several times,” said Rebekah Reyes, prosecutor.

Police say surveillance shows 43-year-old Juan Gonzales attacking the woman last week. When officers caught up with Gonzales, they say he confessed to it all and told them he believed he had killed her.

However, the defense argued he isn’t the suspect police were looking for, claiming the evidence doesn’t support he was the attacker. His attorney made the point that Gonzales’s white tennis shoes had no stains on them and neither did his clothing.

“There’s no staining whatsoever on those shoes. They are a pristine white. Further, it’s a little difficult to see, but there’s no apparent blood staining on any article of clothing,” said Graham Dumas, defense.

The public defender argued Gonzales should be free to go. No decision has been made yet if he should stay behind bars until trial.

The detention hearing was continued until Wednesday.

Gonzales has a fairly lengthy criminal history over the past decade for everything from drugs and theft, to breaking and entering.

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