Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Jury fails to reach verdict in first-degree murder trial

Adam Cazares

Copyright © 2022

A District Court judge declared a mistrial Friday after a jury failed to reach verdicts in the trial of Adam Cazares, 33, who prosecutors allege fatally shot a man in 2019 outside an Albuquerque apartment complex.

The 2nd Judicial District Court jury hung on charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, said Lauren Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Rodriguez said she did not know if prosecutors plan to retry Cazares in the shooting death of 26-year-old Calvin Kelly.

In March, a judge sentenced Cazares’ co-defendant, 18-year-old Jassiah Montoya, to 21 years in prison for his role in Kelly’s death. Montoya, who was 15 at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty in November to a charge of first-degree murder.

Police found Kelly’s body July 10, 2019, in the parking lot of the Retreat at Candelaria apartments, near Morris and Candelaria NE, according to a criminal complaint filed in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

Witnesses told police they heard a single gunshot and saw a white car fleeing the area.

Police allege that a robbery attempt by Cazares and Montoya led to Kelly’s death, the complaint said.

A witness told police Montoya and Cazares walked up to Kelly, held him at gunpoint, told him not to run and ordered him to empty his pockets, the complaint said.

When Kelly tried to run, Cazares allegedly shot him in the back with a rifle, it said.

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