Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gamez Gets 12 Years For Murder Of Tech Student

By John Larson

SOCORRO – One of those implicated in the death of New Mexico Tech student Garrett Joe was sentenced to 12 years in the penitentiary by District Judge Edmund Kase Friday, Feb. 26.
Jose Gamez, 20, of Socorro, received the maximum sentence for second degree murder.
The charges stem from an incident the evening of June 5, 2008 at Clarke Field which resulted in the death of Joe, of Crownpoint, who was 22 at the time.
The original criminal complaint stated that Joe was stabbed four times in the back and beaten in the head with a socket wrench. He was found alive by a jogger at the park the following morning, but died shortly after while receiving emergency medical care.
Along with Jose Gamez, Socorro police officers also arrested his brothers, Rafael Gamez and Manuel Gamez, also of Socorro, along with their mother, Jennie Gamez, of Polvadera, who admitted in the complaint to trying to dispose of her sons' bloody clothing.
Manuel Gamez was the prosecution’s main witness at a preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court in June, 2008.
At that time, Manuel testified that Jose told him he had stabbed Joe several times in the back and once in the buttocks.
“I knew Jose carries a knife on him all the time [but] I never saw the knife in Jose's hand,” Manuel said. “I said I don't want any part of this and that somebody should call an ambulance.”
Manuel testified that a short time later Jose threw the knife into ditch.
Manuel Gamez, 21, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to aggravated battery and tampering.
Rafael Gamez, twin brother of Jose, was given a six year prison term plus two years probation in June, 2009, and Jennie Gamez, 51, was found guilty of tampering with evidence but has not been sentenced.
Assistant District Attorney Stacey Ward said she was very happy with Jose Gamez’s 12 year sentence.
“It was the maximum under the law,” Ward said. “However, I wished the legislature had allowed for a stronger sentence for second degree murder.”

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