Artesia man charged with murder over stolen dog

Leonard Tapia
September 21, 2017 06:22 PM

ARTESIA, N.M. -- Authorities in Artesia say a dispute over a stolen dog led to a homicide this past Monday.


Police responded to a home on the 900 block of Bullock Court around 9 p.m. for a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers say they found 34-year-old Ronald McClean inside one of the homes with a gunshot wound to the head.

Detectives say the man allegedly responsible for shooting McClean is this 25-year-old Ruben Lopez. According to a police report, McClean's girlfriend claims Lopez went to her home and threatened her and her nephews after they allegedly sold him a stolen dog earlier that day. 

"And that's what the altercation started over; [it] was the dog,” said Ricardo Huerta, a commander with the Artesia Police Department.

Police say McClean intervened and was shot in the head by Lopez. McClean was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police records also state Lopez is "a friend of the family." He faces two charges -- one count of open murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held at the Eddy County Detention Center on a no-bond hold.

Lopez has been arrested in past for battery and assault with a deadly weapon.

"The investigation is still ongoing," Huerta said. "We are planning on looking a little bit more into details about you know, with the information received about the dog."

McClean's family has asked for privacy.


Leonard Tapia

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


Relay Media Amp


Halloween Costume Photo Contest


Like Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on LinkedIn Follow Us on Google+ RSS Email Newsletters Android Apps iOS Apps

Al Hurricane, 'Godfather of New Mexico music,' dies at 81

Debate spurred by NFL protests hurting local businesses

Hopeful for new backyard pools, company instead leaves customers with empty holes

Inmate costs at northwestern New Mexico jails to jump

Utah husband launches kidney quest