Santa Fe woman who fatally shot at house party faces trial


Beverly Melendez

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The trial of a Santa Fe woman accused of firing a gun into her neighbor’s yard, killing a young man, is set to begin this week. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that 65-year-old Beverly Melendez was found competent to stand trial for one count of second-degree murder.

According to prosecutors, Melendez, angry over her neighbor’s house party, grabbed a .22-caliber rifle and got up on a stool. She opened fire over a wall separating them.

Authorities say one bullet struck 19-year-old Rodrigo Enriquez-Garay in the back. People at the party rushed him to the hospital where he died.

Defense attorneys as recently as last month filed a motion that Melendez have a second psyche evaluation. According to her legal team, a social worker observed her being forgetful and paranoid.

State prosecutors criticized the motion as an “11th-hour play.” The motion was denied.

Melendez also faces two counts of negligent use of a deadly weapon. If convicted on all charges, she faces up to 16 years in prison.

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