Quick Verdict for Drug Trafficker
Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Andrea Reeb, announced that Arnoldo Navarette, age 44, of Portales, NM, was sentenced to life in prison plus 3 years for the 1993 shooting death of Portales resident, Reynaldo Ornelas, Sr., age 30.
Navarette fled the scene after the shooting and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for some 16 years. He was arrested in Odessa, TX, in 2009, where he was working under an alias name.
Navarette, was originally sentenced to life in prison in at a trial in September 2010. The supervising pathologist who oversaw the autopsy testified at the original trial, because the pathologist who actually conducted the autopsy was out of the country at the time and unavailable to testify. However, New Mexico Supreme Court overturned the conviction saying Navarette’s rights were violated because he wasn’t allowed to confront the state pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Ornelas.
The Honorable Fred Van Soelen sentenced Navarette today in Roosevelt District Court. Under New Mexico law, Navarette won’t be eligible for parole for 30 years.
The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover and Assistant District Attorney Quentin Ray. Criminal Defense Attorney, Jennifer Burrill represented Navarette.
For more information, please contact the District Attorney’s Office at 575-769-2246.