Hearing for suspect in Las Cruces park murder delayed

Las Cruces News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — On Tuesday, the suspect accused of a grisly murder at a Las Cruces park earlier this month was granted a delay in his case.

In a pre-trial detention hearing on Tuesday, Third District Court Judge Conrad Perea granted a motion by the defense for a delay and continuance in Joel Arciniega-Saenz’s hearing. His next hearing is scheduled for July 6.

A Doña Ana County grand jury indicted Arciniega-Saenz on Friday. He is charged with first-degree murder (willful and deliberate) in the death of 51-year-old James Garcia, whose body was found in the roadway next to Apodaca Park in Las Cruces. Arciniega-Saenz is accused of stabbing Garcia multiple times and cutting off his head on June 20.

Arciniega-Saenz was later arrested at Apodaca Park after officers found him with bloodstains on his hands and boots and a bloody knife was reportedly found in the ground near him. He surrendered to the police without resisting. He claimed that Garcia had stolen his items and went to the park to confront him.

In 2017, Arciniega-Saenz was charged with murder. LCPD officers arrested him in connection to the murder of 21-year-old Benjamin Montoya at a Las Cruces motel. Those charges were later dismissed.

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