Roswell man's conviction in 2014 murder upheld
February 19, 2018 02:28 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. -- The New Mexico Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Roswell man in a fatal 2014 stabbing.
The state's highest court determined enough evidence existed to convict Steven Lee Lucero for the murder of Isaiah Sanchez, affirming the jury's verdict. Lucero was also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.
In 2014, Lucero lured Sanchez into a Roswell home, beat him and stabbed him to death. Attorney General Hector Balderas called it a "methodical plan" to steal from Sanchez, although Lucero got away with only $15 from Lucero's wallet.
A judge sentenced Lucero to life in prison plus 10 years.
The defense appealed the conviction, saying there was insufficient evidence to convict Lucero for the murder. However, the Supreme Court reached a unanimous decision to uphold the conviction.
In its ruling, the court determined the state had an "abundant evidence to support a finding that the killing was intentional" and that the evidence for the conspiracy conviction "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."
Balderas praised the Supreme Court's decision.
"Keeping the most violent, dangerous offenders behind bars in New Mexico is our priority. I am thankful to the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Roswell Police Department for the successful prosecution of this case, and I’m pleased that the Office of the Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division was able to ensure this hard-fought conviction was upheld," he said in a statement. "The defendant’s methodical actions to lure the victim to a house party, brutally beat and stab him, and then return to the body to deliver the fatal stab wound demonstrates the extreme danger Lucero posed to the Roswell community."
Created: February 19, 2018 02:28 PM
Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved