PORTALES, N.M. (AP) – A man whose earlier murder conviction in a 1993 killing in Portales was overturned has been sentenced to life in prison plus three years after being convicted a second time.
The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said 44-year-old Arnoldo Navarette was sentenced Thursday after being convicted Feb. 6 by a jury.
The New Mexico Supreme Court overturned Navarette’s original conviction on grounds that his constitutional rights were violated because he wasn’t able to confront the state pathologist who conducted the autopsy on the victim, 30-year-old Reynaldo Ornelas Sr. of Portales.
The supervising pathologist who oversaw the autopsy testified at the original trial because the pathologist who conducted the autopsy was out of the country at the time.
Navarette fled after the shooting. He was arrested in Odessa, Texas, in 2009.