Las Cruces man given maximum sentence for shooting, near fatal pistol-whipping of girlfriend

Las Cruces man given maximum sentence for shooting, near fatal pistol-whipping of girlfriend
Courtesy Dona Ana County Detention Facility
CrimeBeat

POSTED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 11:50am

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 4:42pm

A Las Cruces man received the maximum 33 1/2 year sentence after a jury found him guilty of attempted first degree murder, aggravated burglary, child abuse and felon in possession of a firearm.

On March 27, 2013, Cornelius Renteria  went to his girlfriend's home and began loading a small revolver telling her 'things did not have to end this way.' Renteria forced his way into the victims home and shot her 3 times. When her 9 year old daughter attempted to intervene the defendant turned on the child and dry fired the gun.

According to testimony, Renteria proceeded to beat his girlfriend with the gun resulting in near fatal blows to her head. All three of his girlfriend's very young children witnessed the attack and "remain traumatized and unable to process the event”, Prosecuting District Attorney Heather Chavez said.

A jury convicted Renteria on May 8, 2014 after eight hours of deliberation. Prosecuting District Attorney Heather Chavez who requested the maximum imposed sentence, pointed out that Cornelius Renteria “repeatedly thumbs his nose at the law.” He was on probation at the time he committed this violent act and “since 1999 has had consistent contact with the criminal justice system”. She went on to say that Renteria “should not be on the streets as he is a great danger to the community.”

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