CLOVIS, NM (KCBD) - On Thursday, a Curry County Jury found Luciano Guerra, 20 guilty of 1st Degree Murder and Tampering with Evidence in the death of Andrew Gama, 21. Gama died from multiple stab wounds at a Clovis hospital in March of last year. Testimony revealed Gama was stabbed 13 times.
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler issued this released about Thursday's verdict:
Luciano Guerra, age 20, was found guilty today of the first degree murder of Andrew Gama, age 21 at the time of death. The jury deliberated for approximately one-hour before returning guilty verdicts on all counts, which included one count of First Degree Murder and one count of Tampering with Evidence.
The convictions stem from an incident that occurred on March 13, 2010, in Clovis, New Mexico. At that time, it was proven that the defendant was at a late night party at the Clovis Apartments. During the course of the evening, the defendant became involved in a verbal altercation with the victim, Andrew Gama. The argument between the defendant and the victim eventually escalated into a fight, and the defendant pinned the victim's arm back and stabbed him thirteen (13) times with a folding pocket-knife.
The Clovis Police Department responded to the fight, but a majority of those involved had already fled the scene including the victim who was rushed to Plains Regional Medical Center by friends only to die shortly thereafter.
The Ninth Judicial District Major Crimes' Unit was called to investigate the case, and discovered enough evidence to place Luciano Guerra under arrest the following day at his lawyer's office.
The Honorable Teddy Hartley presided over the trial and Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover and Assistant District Attorney Jared Morris prosecuted the case for the State. The Court postponed the sentencing of Luciano Guerra for a later date, where he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the murder conviction plus an additional four (4) years in prison for the tampering with evidence conviction. The State will seek the maximum punishment.
Following the verdict, Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover stated, "We are very thankful for the law enforcement officers that worked so diligently to bring justice to the family of Andrew Gama. Thanks to the investigators, this jury was able to clearly follow the evidence and discover the truth and their verdict is a reflection of just that."
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