District Attorney's Office Delivers on Convicting Multiple Violent Felons
Updated: Nov 17
Posted By: ABQ RAW Staff
Posted On: 11/17/023 @ 12:55 PM
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During the week spanning November 13-17, the Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office reported five guilty convictions and announced sentences for three individuals found guilty. Below are the reported convictions and sentences from the last week.
On Monday, November 13th, a jury convicted Jacob Gaines, also known as Jacob Russell, of criminal sexual penetration of a minor. This crime happened in 2017. Gaines' DNA was found in multiple places on the 16-year-old victim. Gaines faces up to 15 years in custody. Sentencing is scheduled for a later date.
Adelio Gallegos, convicted of taking another driver's life in the aftermath of a fender bender, received a life sentence in prison on Wednesday, November 15th. The shooting incident occurred in January 2021 and was documented by security video footage. Adelio Gallegos was found guilty by a jury in August, facing a conviction of first-degree murder for the killing of Mike Guerra in the parking lot of a medical clinic. While the Judge handed down a life sentence to Gallegos, he will be eligible for parole after 30 years.
On Wednesday, November 15th, the Bernalillo County District Attorney's office announced that Albert Arnold, the alleged perpetrator of a string of sexual assaults in the Albuquerque area dating back to 1987, is now destined to spend the remainder of his life behind bars. Investigators from the Bernalillo County District Attorney's Cold Case Rape Unit, armed with DNA and other compelling evidence, have linked him to at least 20 sexual assaults. Currently incarcerated for prior sexual assault convictions, a judge recently sentenced Arnold to an additional 36 years for the rape of a woman in 1996. Arnold, who pleaded guilty to this heinous crime last month, now faces an extended period of incarceration.
On Thursday, November 16th, Solomon Martinez was found guilty by a jury of committing aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. In 2021, while at an Albuquerque grocery store parking lot, Martinez encountered an ex-boyfriend of a relative. Displaying alarming aggression, Martinez approached the victim, brandished a knife, pressed it against the victim's neck, and issued threats of harm. This menacing attack was captured on surveillance video, providing irrefutable evidence. The sentencing phase for Martinez is scheduled for a later date.
In a solemn courtroom proceeding on Thursday, November 16th, justice was served as a judge handed down the sentencing for Pamela Esparaza, a key figure in the heart-wrenching death of 4-year-old James Dunklee. The year 2019 marked a dark chapter when the young boy suffered a brutal murder, his body revealing more than 50 wounds during a harrowing autopsy. Esparaza, implicated in the crime, received a 13-year sentence in the Department of Corrections, followed by five years of supervised probation. Meanwhile, the primary perpetrator, Zerrick Marquez, received a life sentence for his role in James' demise. The legal proceedings continue as the sentencing for Krista Cruz, the young boy's mother, is scheduled for next month.
On Thursday, November 16th, in a pivotal legal decision, Kristopher Gonzalez faced a jury's judgment and was convicted on numerous criminal charges. The charges include 2nd-degree murder with a firearm enhancement, aggravated battery with a firearm enhancement, two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm enhancement, and tampering with evidence. The conviction arises from the disturbing events that unfolded on February 21, 2021, when Gonzalez shot and killed Jose Garcia, injured Jacob Maes, and assaulted two other victims in a grocery store parking lot. The next step in this legal process is the sentencing, scheduled for a later date.
On Friday, November 17th, Derrick Bonner was found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, and tampering with evidence. The conviction stems from the incident on August 7, 2022, when Bonner shot and killed 60-year-old David Salazar at a Northeast Albuquerque apartment complex. The motive behind the murder was Bonner's search for missing property. Accompanied by two others, Bonner forcibly entered the victim's apartment, and he subsequently opened fire, resulting in the death of Salazar. Derrick Bonner now faces a potential life sentence in the Department of Corrections. The sentencing is scheduled for a later date.
A jury convicted Curtis Taylor of multiple criminal charges, including voluntary manslaughter, conspiracy to commit voluntary manslaughter, aggravated battery (great bodily harm and deadly weapon), shooting at a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily harm, and tampering with evidence on Friday, November 17th. On May 8, 2022, Taylor and others shot and killed Raymond Sedillo in the parking lot of a southeast convenience store. Sedillo died from his injuries two weeks later. Taylor is among three men charged in connection with Sedillo's death. Tyrell Burr, 28, entered a guilty plea in August for involuntary manslaughter and other charges, Burr potentially faces up to 13½ years in prison. Anthony McCrady, 29, is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery related to the shootings. Scheduling of McCrady's trial is pending. As of this posting, Taylor's sentencing has yet to be scheduled.