APD Charges Two in Southeast Apartment Murder Case


March 12, 2024, 3:15 pm

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Albuquerque –

APD homicide investigators have formally charged a couple in connection with Sunday’s robbery and fatal shooting of a man in his Southeast Albuquerque apartment.

Following the tracking of the stolen phone taken from the victim, authorities with the assistance of the NM State Police apprehended the pair late Monday at Villanueva State Park near Las Vegas, New Mexico.

James Caleb Gonzales, aged 26, and Destiny Pacheco, aged 32, face multiple charges including murder with a firearm enhancement, conspiracy to commit murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, three counts of unauthorized debit card use, and resisting arrest.

According to allegations, Gonzales and Pacheco went to the apartment located at 1015 Valencia Dr. S.E., with the intention of robbing Harry Velarde, aged 75, whom Pacheco had met a few days prior and was permitted to stay with temporarily.

Investigations revealed that Gonzales, armed with a handgun, instigated a physical altercation during the robbery, ultimately shooting Velarde in the abdomen, resulting in his death.

After the incident, Gonzales and Pacheco absconded with various belongings of Velarde, including mobile phones, identification, and debit cards. Detectives traced one of the phones across different locations in Albuquerque, monitoring the couple’s use of Velarde’s debit card.

Throughout Monday, detectives worked diligently to ascertain the identities of Gonzales and Pacheco, uncovering that they had commandeered the vehicle they were found driving. Furthermore, authorities linked the bullet casing from Sunday’s homicide to an earlier incident on March 3, 2024, where Gonzales is suspected of shooting his ex-girlfriend.

Upon Gonzales’s arrest on Monday, authorities discovered two firearms in his possession along with Velarde’s ID.

PATREON Members can read the criminal complaint here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/apd-charges-two-100257894?utm_medium=clipboard_copy&utm_source=copyLink&utm_campaign=postshare_creator&utm_content=join_link


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