Alex Pacheco

Alex Pacheco

A Mora County man was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for a September 2019 shooting that killed a man and wounded his husband.

Alex H. Pacheco, 26, pleaded guilty in August to second-degree murder, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and shooting at or from a motor vehicle. He faced a maximum of 14 years, according to Fourth Judicial District Attorney Tom Clayton.

“He has no prior (criminal history),” Clayton said. “It was a rather lengthy and emotional sentencing hearing, on both sides quite honestly.”

Pacheco shot and killed Jennings on Sept. 28, 2019, in Mora County, and was arrested Oct. 1, 2019. The day of the shooting, Montoya had received a number of text messages from Pacheco, his nephew. In many of those texts, Pacheco was “calling him names,” according to an amended criminal complaint filed in Mora Magistrate Court in October of 2019.

Jennings and Montoya went to Pacheco’s apartment around midnight on Sept. 28. Montoya told police that when he and Jennings knocked on Pacheco’s door, Pacheco said, “I don’t want to talk,” then began shooting, according to court records.

New Mexico State Police investigators located several bullet casings in the driveway at Pacheco’s apartment, as well as a casing inside the apartment. Investigators also located bullet holes in the windshield of Montoya and Jennings’ vehicle.

Jennings was shot three times, according to the amended criminal complaint. He died later at a hospital in Albuquerque. Montoya was also transported to a hospital with a gunshot wound, but was later released after receiving treatment in an intensive care unit.

Pacheco was still in custody at the San Miguel County Detention Center as of this writing, but Clayton said he will be transferred to the custody of the New Mexico Corrections Department. Upon release from prison, Pacheco will be subject to two years supervised parole, and five years probation. 

 “No one wins in these types of situations — Sharmaine Jennings lost her son. Ben Montoya Jr. lost his partner and Pacheco lost his freedom,” Clayton said. “Ms. Jennings and Mr. Montoya asked the court to hold Pacheco accountable for his actions, but they also displayed a tremendous level of grace at the sentencing hearing as they forgave Pacheco for his actions.”


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