Small Town News

Crime

Vincent Barela Bound Over To District Court

Mountain Mail of Socorro, New Mexico

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SOCORRO - Two years after his arrest on a charge of murder, Vincent Barela, 36, of Socorro was bound over to District Court Tuesday, Mar. 2.

Barela faces three charges - murder, aggravated assault on a household member, and tampering with evidence - stemming from the death of a Socorro woman, Eileen Gabaldon, who had been severely beaten at her residence on Sixth Street in Feb. 2008. Gabaldon died at University of New Mexico Hospital three days later.

An autopsy report revealed she had received extensive blunt trauma to the head causing facial fractures, deep bruising to the skin and bleeding to the brain. She also had second and first degree burns on her torso and several broken ribs.

The report also said Gabaldon had first and second degree burns on her abdomen and chest.

After an investigation by Socorro police officer Richard Lopez, Barela was arrested Feb. 13, 2008.

The police report said Lopez reviewed tapes of a 91 1 call and learned that on Friday, Jan. 8 officers had been dispatched to Barela's address on a report of a possible fight.

Barela had a large amount of blood on his face and body and scratch marks on his chest. Barela stated he got the blood from a fight he had just been engaged in with another man. Police noted that he changed his story several times about how got covered in blood.

Police obtained a search warrant for Barela's residence, and found a space heater which was damaged, blood stained and had a hair sample on it. Other evidence included blood stains on a pillow case, couch, shower curtain, and several walls.

The charges against Barela include one murder count, one count of aggravated battery against a household member, and one count of tampering with evidence.

Assistant District Attorney Ricardo Perry told the Mountain Mail that the two year delay in the bind over from Magistrate Court was due to questions over Barela's competency to stand trial.

"After those questions were raised, Magistrate Court transferred the case to District Court to handle the competency issue. Competency issues must be handled by a district judge," Berry said. "He was sent to the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas for psychiatric examination, and once he was found competent to stand trial his case was heard again in Magistrate, and was officially bound over to District Tuesday."

Berry said Barela's arrangment hearing in front of Judge Kevin Sweazea would be held in the next 30 days.



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Original Publication Date: March 4, 2010



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