Trial for double murder suspect begins


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The trial for a man accused of a double murder at an Albuquerque Circle K in 2019 is now underway. Investigators say James Chavez shot Jesus Lopez and James Ronquillo when they asked him to leave the Circle K on Univesity and Menaul.

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The men were there visiting Lopez’s brother, an assistant manager of the store. APD says DNA from a Walter Chavez had been stolen and then left at the scene helped them identify Chavez as the shooter. On Thursday, both sides gave their opening statements.

“Mr. Lopez was shot three times. Twice in the back, once in the arm. Mr. Ronquillo was shot once on the left side of his face. They both died as a result of these wounds. There was no justification for these killings,” Natalie Lyon with the state said.

“The reason why this is self-defense is his attackers, Joseph Ramiro, Jesus Lopez, James Ronquillo, were armed and dangerous,” said Defense Attorney Douglas Wilber.

Chavez had a criminal history including car theft, shoplifting, breaking and entering and drug charges.

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