Home Law and Courts Jaramillo pleads to second-degree murder

Jaramillo pleads to second-degree murder

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Gabrielle Arsiaga/News-Sun

Enrique Jaramillo, 32, of Hobbs, plead guilty to second-degree murder on Monday and is facing up to 26 years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections. He also plead to intimidation of a witness, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, all third-degree felonies.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Dianna Luce told the News-Sun Monday, that while Jaramillo is facing up to 26 years in prison, the recommendation is for him to serve 15 to 18 years, with the remainder to be served on probation or parole.

“He plead to second-degree murder, intimidation of a witness, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon,” Luce said. “This is an agreed plea. Basically what he is pleading to is the second-degree murder, plus the firearm enhancement, plus the eight year habitual enhancement. It could be 26 years, but we did a sentencing range between 15 to 18 years so the judge will sentence within that range.”

Jaramillo is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on April 27 at 12:30 p.m.

Jaramillo is accused of shooting and killing Aaron Grogan, 25, of Eunice. Grogan was found dead in a field outside of Eunice.

Jaramillo was charged in 2021 with first-degree murder, a first-degree felony; two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, aggravated battery and bribery of a witness, all third-degree felonies; four counts of tampering with evidence and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, all fourth-degree felonies.

Grogan was reported missing on August 14, 2020, after his family didn’t hear from him for two days. It wasn’t until Aug. 17, 2020, that Grogan’s body was found in a field off Coyote Hill, west of Eunice. The body was confirmed to be Grogan’s after police matched his shoes and a tattoo on his arm.

“On his right leg, I observed what I believed to be two bullet wounds,” an officer stated in the report.

The autopsy found Grogan had gunshot wounds on his mid-back, on his right side between his hip and ribcage, and a wound on his posterior hip.

According to the report, the field where the body was found had targets for shooting. The officer found 17 spent 5.56 mm and four .38 caliber shell casings about 60 feet from where the body was found. Further west of the shooting area several 9 mm and .223 shell casings along with four .223 rounds were found, along with Michelob Ultra beer bottles.

During the investigation, officers searched Grogan’s home and truck and went through his cell phone. On Aug. 17, 2020, Grogan’s vehicle was found in Humble City, north of Hobbs, by a Eunice officer. The officer left to get thermal imaging and returned to find the truck missing. Later that day officers found the vehicle unoccupied in a different area of Humble City.

While searching Grogan’s phone and computer, the report stated Grogan was messaging Jaramillo about going out and shooting a .38 special revolver.

Jaramillo said in a message, “I just gotta new heater I wanna go shoot this (expletive) make sure it works.”

Grogan offered to bring a Sig Sauer M400. The Sig Sauer M400 is a semi-automatic, air-cooled, direct impingement gas-operated, magazine-fed carbine that is based on the earlier AR-15 rifle platform.

The report stated Jaramillo asked to buy the M400 from Grogan multiple times, but Grogan always said no.

On Sept. 3, 2020, a witness came forward and told officers she was with Grogan and Jaramillo during the shooting. The report stated the witness claimed, Jaramillo, and Grogan were at Grogan’s home before going out to shoot the guns. The witness claimed they smoked methamphetamine before they went to shoot the firearms.

The witness told police while Jaramillo and Grogan shot the firearms, she waited by the truck. After 20 minutes Grogan and Jaramillo came back to the truck and were getting ready to leave, the witness claimed.

Jaramillo was standing by the truck while Grogan was three feet from Jaramillo, according to the witness.

“(The witness) stated that she heard a shot, she turned to look and seen (Grogan) facing (Jaramillo) and he (Grogan) yelled, “What the (expletive), (expletive)?!”

According to the report, Grogan then turned away and paused when Jaramillo began shooting at Grogan.

“He shot (Grogan) in the back 3-4 more times,” the report states.

Jaramilo had Grogan’s phone when they left. (The witness) saw Aaron lost his footing and collapsed onto the ground.

The witness claimed Jaramillo then began yelling, “Get the (expletive) in the (expletive) truck now!! Shut the (expletive) up!!!”

As Jaramillo walked around the truck to force the witness into the vehicle, he allegedly said, “I need that (expletive) gun! I need that (expletive) gun!”

The report stated Jaramillo was “freaking out” and the witness was scared he would kill her. Jaramillo then allegedly drove Grogan’s truck back to Grogan’s house and ordered the witness to follow him in another vehicle. The witness told officers the pair drove to Hobbs and she began to slow down to turn and get away from Jaramillo, but he blocked her in and positioned the car bumper to bumper when they were around Houston Street.

“She stated she could see the devil in his eyes,” the report stated.

They got to Jaramillo’s family member’s home when he parked behind the witness in the backyard of a home on the 400 block East Lea Street, the witness told officers.

“(He) approached the driver’s side door; opened it and pistol-whipped her on her head,” the report stated.

The pair then got in Grogan’s truck, according to the report, and began driving to Humble City, where Jaramillo asked a family member to come and get them. After taking the firearms from the truck, the witness and Jaramillo got into the family member’s car and drove back to Hobbs.

After getting back to Jaramillo’s truck, the witness and Jaramillo drove to Lubbock, according to the report.

Jaramillo allegedly threw Grogan’s phone out of the truck between Hobbs and Seminole.

The report stated the pair stayed the night in Lubbock and Jaramillo gave a friend Grogan’s keys to move the truck from Humble City and “get rid of it.” The next day Jaramillo and the witness began driving to Kansas, the report stated.

“(The witness) said once they got to Wichita, they rented a hotel room…” the report stated. “Enrique wanted to leave, and (the witness) didn’t want to yet. (The witness) said at one point, Enrique punched her in the head and tried to make her get in the car.”

While they were driving, according to the report, the vehicle ran out of gas and the pair began walking. The witness claimed Jaramillo was in front of her and she began walking slowly to create a large gap between them.

“She said (Jaramillo) wasn’t paying attention and she was able to run away,” the report stated. The witness told police she ran back to the hotel and called her family and waited at the motel.

Jaramillo allegedly circled the parking lot of the hotel and had a note brought to her while she waited.

“The note instructed her to go outside or else he and his friend would come up there with ‘straps’,” the report stated.

“For the last week, Enrique and his family had been sending (the witness) messages, threatening her life and threatening her family’s safety,” the report stated. “She told me his (family member) posted on Facebook two days ago: ‘(expletive) like you expire…pronto no’s vemos culeda”.

Gabrielle Arsiaga’s email is courts@hobbsnews.com.

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