Suspect in deadly party shooting to be held in jail

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A district court judge ruled that 19-year-old Jesse Parra will be held in jail during a detention hearing Wednesday.

A decision did not come down for the second suspect, 16-year-old Cruz Medina. Both teens face a first-degree murder charge. 

Investigators believe Parra and Medina brought guns to a northwest Albuquerque house party the weekend before Christmas.

A shooting broke out shortly after midnight catching 18-year-old Jada Gonzales in the crossfire. She did not survive her wounds.

Police tied the suspects to her death through multiple posts on social media, cell phone data, and text messages referencing the young woman’s murder, among other things.

The suspect and victim’s parents were on the virtual courtroom call Wednesday, as a state prosecutor explained why she believes no conditions of release for Parra would keep the community safe.

“This insinuation that he can murder someone and shoot at other people, and then all of a sudden be expected to follow court orders is just unreal,” said Jolanna Macias, a state prosecutor. “He will in fact, tamper with evidence in an attempt to avoid prosecution, which should lean in favor of detention as the state’s fears that if he’s willing to go to those lengths to get a new phone, and to get rid of weapons, then there’s a possibility that his actions will lead to witness tampering.”

Before the judge made her decision, both Parra’s mother and his attorney asked that he be released under strict conditions, arguing that the 19-year-old is not a danger to the public.

“Mr. Parra is innocent of any murder charge,” said Max Pines, defense attorney for Parra. “He’s not a shooter at this 5205 La Bajada. And even more so the evidence is that the, the people that are shooting at the house, they’re responding in self-defense to an occupant of the house which shot at the group first.”

Ultimately, the judge decided disagreed. Parra will stay behind bars in the meantime. 

16-year-old Medina was supposed to have his hearing today too, but it was rescheduled.

This is just one of multiple instances in the span of a month where a teen has lost their life to gun violence.

Just this week, we reported on two teen siblings – only 14 and 15 – who were shot and killed at a mobile home park off Atrisco Vista. 

The older brother was declared dead at the scene late Friday night. The younger brother died from his wounds at UNM Hospital this week, turning this into a double homicide investigation for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.

At last check, deputies had yet to identify any suspects in that shooting, but say they took off from the scene in a dark, four-door car.

Cruz Medina will make his first court appearance at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8.