APD arrests second suspect in Fourth of July murder

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department has arrested a second suspect for the murder of Joel Valdez on the Fourth of July.

James Sena, 34, was arrested Monday evening and charged with conspiracy to commit a first-degree felony.

Homicide detectives arrested Erica Valdez, the victim’s wife, on July 7 and charged her with the murder of her husband the previous night. Through investigation, detectives learned that two different guns were used during two shootings targeting Joel on the night of the murder.

Detectives determined that Erica and James had been dating each other, and they were suspects in a shooting at a house on July 3.

On July 4, Joel confronted the pair at a Motel 6, where James worked as a security guard. Erica and James were armed.

According to police, later that night, Erica went to the home she shared with Joel and someone fired several rounds from a handgun toward the house after a confrontation with him. Erica Valdez returned to the area near the home, on 98th Street, two hours later with another male, believed to be James.

Police say Joel was shot and killed during a final confrontation at that location.

This is a developing story. Stay with KOB 4 Eyewitness News and KOB.com for updates.