LCPD: Uninvited guest to be charged with two counts of murder in Las Cruces crash

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) - Las Cruces Police say that an uninvited guest to a house part in Las Cruces will be charged with two counts of murder after police say he deliberately ran them over after being asked to leave.

Carlos C. Garcia, 50, is expected to be charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the crash that killed 29-year-old Denise Chavez and 36-year-old Arturo Chavez in the early morning hours of Sunday, May 7 on Valley View Ave. and Winters St.

Investigators learned that Chavez and Cordova, who were cousins, were at a party watching a boxing match in the 4100 block of Calle Americana Saturday night and the pair continued the party into the early morning hours.

Around 3 a.m. Garcia reportedly showed up to the house saying he was looking for a friend. Even though the group didn't know Garcia, they let him into the party.

About 45 minutes later, Garcia allegedly acted inappropriately toward Chavez and was asked to leave the party. Witnesses claim that Garcia chugged half a bottle of vodka and stole several beers from the home on his way out of the party.

Chavez, Cordova and a third relative followed Garcia into his gold GMC Yukon to make sure he was leaving when he allegedly began taunting party-goers by revving his SUV's engine and driving up and down the street.

The group followed Garcia onto Valley View and watched as he allegedly sped east toward North Las Cruces Park and then west past the group again. Garcia then made another U-turn on Valley view and sped east toward the group before he reportedly jumped the curb, striking Chavez and Cordova before slamming into a rock wall at the intersection of Valley View and Winters.

Chavez and Cordova were pronounced dead at the scene and Garcia was taken to University Medical Center where he is still hospitalized in stable condition.

Traffic Investigators say that the Yukon's Crash Data Recorder recorded speeds of 53 mph one second before the crash and also indicated that Garcia was not wearing a seatbelt and never hit the breaks before slamming into Chavez and Cordova.

Formal charges are pending against Garcia pending a warrant or grand jury indictment.


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