CARRIZOZO, N.M. (AP) – A 25-year-old man arrested in the ax killing of a Ruidoso-area ranch worker area is charged with first-degree murder in the near-beheading.

Court records say Andrew Poteet Magill’s case was transferred Monday from magistrate court to District Court in Carrizozo after he was indicted in the killing of Mary Ann Moorhouse at the ranch where she worked about 10 miles east of the city of Ruidoso Downs.

Lincoln County deputies found Moorhouse dead after a concerned co-worker couldn’t reach her after she phoned him to say she was going to check on a possible intruder.

Magill’s defense attorney did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on the allegation.