Albuquerque police arrest suspects accused of two homicides

[anvplayer video=”5161518″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police arrested two suspects accused of a Monday morning homicide in northeast Albuquerque and an October homicide in downtown Albuquerque.

Police arrested and charged Casper Rickords, 22, and Melvin Robinson, 33, after a SWAT standoff Monday at the Extend-a-Suites hotel on Menaul near University.

Police were led to the area by a Nov. 8 tip, indicating the two men were living on Menaul, east of University. The tip was in response to the Oct. 21 homicide at the Albuquerque Transport Center.

A criminal complaint alleges Isaac Torres met with Rickords and Robinson at the ATC for a drug deal. Torres was reportedly interested in buying one of Robinson’s guns and tried taking it when a deal fell through. Then, the complaint states the two men shot Torres and fled on an orange moped.

In January, police released a video of Robinson and Rickords on the moped around the time of the Oct. 21 shooting.

Police reviewed a video of the Monday homicide, showing two people whose identities matched Robinson and Rickords.

Around 1:39 a.m. Monday, police say the men approached 41-year-old Bradley Soza who was limping along the sidewalk on the south side of the 1500 block of Candelaria Road.

One of the men allegedly struck Soza multiple times with a pole. Then, the video shows they shot Soza in the back and walked toward the nearby Ambassador Inn hotel.

Police responded to the area around 5 a.m., and found Soza dead. They also found Soza crawled into the road and was accidentally run over. Soza’s death was ruled a homicide, caused by being shot.

While investigating, police went to the Ambassador Inn and allegedly found the suspected moped in the lobby. They learned an employee’s spouse bought the moped and repainted it red. The employee alleged Robinson, a hotel employee and resident at one time, then tried buying the moped back a few days before.

Police obtained a search warrant for the Ambassador Inn room the two men had. Then, police tracked them down to an Extend-a-Suites hotel room on Menaul.

The men were detained and the rooms were searched. In the rooms, police found several cell phones, black armor, handguns, an extended magazine for a handgun, live ammunition, a duty belt and a gun-cleaning kit.

While detained, Robinson allegedly told police he was working security for the motel when he spotted Soza outside there and told him to leave. Police say the men also admitted to firing their guns at Soza and leaving him on the sidewalk.

Upon further questioning, police arrested and charged the men with the Monday homicide and the October homicide.

Casper Rickords and Melvin Robinson each face charges of murder, conspiracy and tampering with evidence. Each of them will make their first court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.