New Mexico Supreme Court News:
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed today the convictions of Steven Lee Lucero for a 2014 killing in Roswell.
In a unanimous decision, the Court found there was sufficient evidence to support a jury’s verdict convicting Lucero of felony murder and conspiracy to commit felony murder. The victim, Isaiah Sanchez, was beaten and fatally stabbed after being lured to a house in Roswell as part of a plan by Lucero to steal Sanchez’s truck. Lucero enlisted the help of his ex-wife, his brother and the brother’s girlfriend. Lucero asked his ex-wife, who had dated Sanchez, to invite the victim to a party.
Lucero was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years by a Fifth Judicial District Court judge.
In his appeal, Lucero contended there were faulty jury instructions and insufficient evidence to support his convictions. The Supreme Court rejected his arguments.
Felony murder is a killing committed during the commission or attempted commission of a felony, which was armed robbery in Lucero’s case. After the initial attack on Sanchez, Lucero left in the victim’s truck but returned when he discovered part of his gun was missing. Lucero found the victim still alive, stabbed him again and stole his wallet and $15.
The Court said the prosecution presented “abundant evidence to support a finding that the killing was intentional.” The evidence for the conspiracy conviction, the court said, “leaves no reasonable doubt that Defendant, with others, engaged in a scheme to deprive Victim of his property and exert deadly force if necessary to do so.”
To read the decision in State v. Lucero, No. S-1-SC-36128, visit the New Mexico Compilation Commission’s website here.