Second arrest made in murder of EPCSO Deputy Herrera

Crime

A second person has been charged in connection to the murder of Deputy Peter Herrera, the deputy who was shot during a traffic stop in San Elizario on March 22, according to El Paso County Sherrif’s Office officials.

Arlene Leeann Pina, 20, the girlfriend of the first suspect, is charged with Capital Murder of a Peace Officer.

She was booked into the El Paso County Jail on Saturday under a $1 million bond, according to online jail records.

Sheriff Richard Wiles says he plans to seek the death penalty for Pina and Chavez.

Online records reveal Pina has a criminal history dating back to 2016. She was previously charged several times with possession of marijuana and other controlled substances.

The announcement comes 50 days after Herrera was allegedly shot multiple times by 27-year-old Facundo Chavez. Initially, Deputy Herrera’s prognosis was good and Sheriff Richard Wiles expected a full recovery. However, unexpected medical complications arose two days later and Deputy died March 24 at a local hospital.

According to an arrest affidavit, Herrera conducted a traffic stop on a two-door white BMW 325i with a black convertible top around 1:50 a.m. on Chicken Ranch Road in San Elizario. The car, driven by Chavez and also occupied by Pina, had a Texas 30-day-permit, the affidavit stated.  

At first, Pina exited the vehicle as Herrera approached. Herrera ordered her back in the car and spoke with Chavez at his driver side window.

Herrera told Chavez that he was being pulled over for failure to dim high beam headlights and improperly displaying the temporary permit before asking for his license and registration, the affidavit said.

When Herrera told Chavez to exit the car, Chavez allegedly pulled a gun from his waist area and began to fire at close range. 

The Sheriff’s Office said that one of several bullets struck Herrera in the back of the head. Several other shots hit his body armor, officials said.

According to court documents, Chavez allegedly began hitting Herrera after the shots were fired.

That’s when Pina allegedly got out of the car, approached the men, and said, “Beat that f—–” in Spanish, according to documents.

According to an arrest affidavit, Chavez told investigators that Pina attempted to take Herrera’s handgun. 

Investigators say the blood on her hands showed she had contact with the deputy during the course of the assault.

Chavez’ car later stalled at the intersection of Chicken Ranch and Socorro Roads and the two suspects ran away. Border Patrol agents found them hiding in a nearby shed at about 3 a.m.

Pina initially told investigators there was a third person in the car, which was proven wrong by dashcam footage. She admitted to lying and allegedly told investigators she didn’t want to get in trouble because she had a restraining order against Chavez and knew Chavez had a gun clipped to him.

She also told investigators she “wanted to get out of the vehicle because [Chavez] told her that he was going to shoot the cop” according to an arrest affidavit.

Chavez is being held at the El Paso County Detention Facility without bond.

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