New Mexico’s Route 66 Casino Region Family Fight Leads to Murder Arrest
Posted on: March 24, 2022, 02:51h.
Last updated on: March 24, 2022, 01:07h.
The area around New Mexico’s Route 66 Casino Hotel is once again in the news for violent crime. It was revealed this week that the person responsible for a murder on Feb. 27 near the gaming property turned out to be the victim’s son, the local sheriff’s office said.
Darrin Martinez, 39, was arrested Tuesday in Los Lunas, N.M. for the murder of his father, Larry Martinez. He is charged with second-degree murder and aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office added. He was booked in New Mexico’s Valencia County Jail.
Larry Martinez, 63, died following a fight involving several people, the sheriff’s office said. Darrin Martinez was the main aggressor in the struggle, authorities concluded. It also involved Larry Martinez and Devin Martinez, 30, deputies said. Devin and Darrin are brothers.
The fight erupted after an argument involving several people in the outdoor location. They were drinking and firing guns, deputies said. Officers arrived after getting calls from witnesses about the escalating confrontation.
Larry Martinez was unconscious with obvious signs of trauma. Deputies exhausted life-saving measures, and Larry was later pronounced deceased on scene,” the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said in this week’s Facebook post.
Details on the cause of death have yet to be released. Deputies at the fight interviewed those involved.
“Everyone involved had consistent injuries with being in a physical altercation. It was determined that Darrin Martinez was the primary aggressor and sustained injuries pertaining to the altercation,” the Facebook post added.
The violent crime apparently had no link to the nearby Route 66 Casino.
On Monday, in an unrelated incident, a location near Route 66 Casino was the site of a prisoner stealing a van after faking an illness and overpowering a deputy, authorities revealed.
The inmate, identified as Josh Hall, 34, was being transported in a prisoner van on Monday afternoon, according to KRQE, a local TV station. He complained to a McKinley County deputy driving the van that he was having a heart attack. He said he could not breathe.
The deputy stopped the van near Route 66 Casino. He got out of the van and went to assist Hall. But instead, Hall assaulted the deputy, deputies later said.
Hall eventually got behind the steering wheel of the van and drove off, deputies said. The van eventually was spotted some 30 miles from the casino. A police vehicle rammed the van, and it was pinned. Hall was apprehended.
KRQE further reported that Hall was wounded by a federal agent on March 15 near Route 66 Casino. The incident began when agents from the federal Homeland Security Investigations agency were at the Route 66 Travel Center. They went up to a pickup truck that turned out to be stolen, authorities said.
Hall was outside and then entered the truck. He used the truck to ram a vehicle driven by one of the agents, authorities said. The agent then shot Hall.
Hall was apprehended on March 15 and transported to a local hospital. He received treatment and then was booked at New Mexico’s Metropolitan Detention Center on March 16.
In still another incident, last September a suspect shot and killed a man east of Route 66 Casino Hotel. The victim was believed to be in his early 20s.
Route 66 Casino is operated by the Pueblo of Laguna tribe. It is located near Albuquerque.
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