Las Cruces man receives upgraded charges in murder of stepfather


Alejandro Nevarez (courtesy Dona Ana County Detention Center)

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – The Las Cruces Police Department reports that a man who was suspected of striking his stepfather over the head with a hammer in November is now charged with murder following the victim’s death. LCPD states that 28-year-old Alejandro Nevarez was initially charged with attempted murder and that charge has since been upgraded to murder.

Nevarez is also facing one count of tampering with evidence. Police report around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, officers were dispatched to a residence on the 1100 block of Lees Drive in response to a report that a man was critically injured by his stepson.

Officers discovered 56-year-old John Padilla with severe injuries to his head and his was transported to the University Medical Cener of El Paso. Padilla died from his injuries on Monday, Dec. 14.

According to LCPD, investigators learned that Nevarez was allegedly challenging Padilla, his stepfather, to a fight and threatening to injure him on the afternoon of Nov. 20. Sometime before 5:30 p.m., authorities believe Nevarez followed Padilla outside and used a hammer to strike his head multiple times.

Police state that Nevarez’s mother indicated she went to the backyard and saw her husband on the ground injured with her son standing over him and holding a hammer. LCPD reports that Nevarez fled the scene before police arrived however, officers found him at a nearby abandoned residence.

Nevarez was taken into custody without further incident and investigators believe he discarded the hammer when he fled the house. Nevarez is incarcerated at the Dona Ana County Detention Center and is being held without bond.

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