Suspect pleads guilty to shooting dog and killing owner

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man accused of shooting a dog and killing their owner in September 2021 pleaded guilty to two charges he faced in the case.

Xavier Marquez pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder with a firearm enhancement. He also pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree felony extreme animal cruelty.

On Sept. 22, Marquez allegedly shot Shawn Lynch in the head and his dog in the thigh. A criminal complaint indicates this happened during a confrontation that ensued as they were walking down Kentucky Street in southeast Albuquerque.

Lynch died six days later. His dog made a full recovery.

Police arrested Marquez in Gallup in October 2021. Initially, he faced a first-degree murder charge.

Now, Marquez faces up to 15 years and two subsequent years of parole for a second-degree murder charge. The firearm enhancement will require Marquez to serve two years behind bars.

Marquez also pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree battery upon a peace officer charge. Police charged him in August 2021.

He faces a possible 18 months behind bars, up to a $5,000 fine and one year of parole for the battery charge. He also faces the same possible sentence for the extreme animal cruelty charge.

Judge Clara Moran ordered a 60-day mental evaluation for Marquez. However, he will be transported to prison as he awaits his sentencing date.