Press release: 63-year-old Clovis man pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Clovis, NM ~ Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler announced today that James Fitzpatrick, age 63, pled guilty this morning to the charge of Second Degree Murder for the shooting death of Sandra Bousquet, age 36.

The charges stem from February 3, 2010, when Clovis Police officers responded to a shooting in the 900 block of Jones Street. During the investigation, it was learned that prior to the police arriving James Fitzpatrick was assaulting a female inside the residence with a firearm. During the assault, Fitzpatrick pointed the firearm in the vicinity of the female and pulled the trigger, firing one shot. At the time of the assault, a second female by the name of Sandra Bousquet was an innocent bystander in the residence. The shot fired by Fitzpatrick struck Bousquet in the neck, causing an injury that she was never able to recover from and as a result died approximately one month later in a Lubbock, TX hospital. Shortly after the shooting Clovis Police received information that Fitzpatrick was responsible for the shooting, and conducted a search at Fitzpatrick’s residence where they located the firearm used in the shooting.

At today’s hearing, the Honorable District Judge Stephen K. Quinn ordered that Fitzpatrick undergo a diagnostic evaluation prior to the sentencing hearing in this matter. Fitzpatrick will remain in custody pending sentencing and faces the maximum penalty for 2nd Degree Murder in New Mexico, which is fifteen (15) years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections.

Deputy District Attorney Ben Cross stated, “This was a horrific incident where Sandra, an innocent bystander to an assault, lost her life. It was a senseless act of rage on the part of the defendant that cost the life of someone, and we are prepared to ask the court to sentence the defendant to the maximum time allowed for second degree murder.”

Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Cross prosecuted this case on behalf of the State. For further information concerning this case, please contact the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office.