LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – Inmate Samuel Enriquez, 41, from Las Cruces, NM., was found guilty of second-degree murder of 29-year-old Cory Willis a fellow inmate, said the State of New Mexico Office of the Third Judicial District Attorney.
Officials say Willis was found badly beaten in the jail shower on May 27, 2021. Willis later died of his injuries. Enriquez was charged with Count 1: Second Degree Murder (Willful or Deliberate)- a Second Degree Felony.
Doña Ana County Sheriff’s officers say on May 27, 2021, they responded to a call from the Doña Ana County Detention center regarding a fight between two inmates. The surveillance video shown at the trial shows Enriquez walking into the shower area of the cell block, a short time later Willis walks into the bathroom and shower area. Detention officers responded to the cell block shower and Enriquez walking out.
Enriquez complied with the officers demands and it was noted that he had a bruised and swollen hand, blood spatter on his shoes and a cut on his lip. Willis was found on the shower floor in a pool of blood, with blood splatter on the metal commode, he was non-responsive.
Officials say Willis was taken to Memorial Medical Center then flown to an El Paso Hospital where he later died.
The district attorney’s office says State Prosecutors; Samuel Rosten and Salvador Guardiola told the jury in closing arguments; “you heard the phone call from the jail, this was not self-defense. Ladies and gentlemen, you are sitting in the presence of a murderer.”
Officials say Enriquez was currently serving a 2 and half year sentence for Aggravated Assault (Deadly Weapon) and Possession of a Deadly Weapon (Felon). He will be sentenced for the Second-degree murder charge at a later date. Enriquez faces a potential sentence of 15 years, with a possible addition of 4 years Habitual Offender enhancement. If the sentence imposed is to run consecutive to his current sentence, Enriquez faces 19 years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections.