Trial set to start Monday in Portales

Freedom New Mexico Staff

The first-degree murder trial of two men accused of shooting a 10-year-old boy while he slept in his Clovis home will begin Monday in Portales.

Demetrio Salas, 21, and David Griego, 31, are scheduled to have a 10-day trial. Jury selection will begin at 9 a.m. Monday.

District Judge Pro Tem David Bonem ordered the trial be moved to Portales on Sept. 12, rescinding a previous decision by the now-retired Judge Joe Parker to hold the trial in Lea County due to high publicity in the case.

“The court further finds that media coverage of this case has been essentially non-existent in Roosevelt County in the past seven months of the date of this order,” Bonem said in his order.

The court anticipates it may take a little longer to find objective jurors in Portales than it might have in Lea County because of Portales’ close proximity to Clovis, records show.

Carlos Perez was killed by a bullet fired through his bedroom window in September 2005 while he slept next to his then 16-year-old brother, who police have said was the intended target.

Two other men charged in the case will stand trial separate from Demetrio Salas and Griego under an earlier order from Parker.

The first-degree murder trial of Edward Salas, 23, and Noe Torres has been continued into mid-October, records show.

Torres, 28, has not been apprehended since a warrant was issued for his arrest following the shooting.

Orlando Salas, 16, pleaded guilty in March 2006 and was sentenced as a juvenile. He will be eligible for parole at age 21.