Trial for 1993 slaying begins

Jared Tucker

Trial began Tuesday in Portales district court of 39-year-old Arnoldo Navarette, who is accused of shooting and killing a man in 1993.

Navarette is charged with first degree murder and aggravated battery in the May 30, 1993, shooting death of Rey Ornelas, according to court records.

During Tuesday’s testimony, Don Guy, a sergeant detective with the Portales Police Department at the time of the shooting, told the jury he didn’t remember finding any blood or bullet casings in the street where the shooting happened.

Guy said he did remember locating a .380 caliber shell casing in the trunk of a blue Pontiac Grand Am, a vehicle authorities believe was driven by Navarette’s brother-in-law, Dolores “LoLo” Ortega.

Portales Officer Keith Wattenbarger testified the blue Grand Am was found at the Ortega residence near 16th and Avenue E three or four hours after the shooting. Wattenbarger said no weapons were found in Ortega’s home or the Grand Am.

Wattenbarger told the jury he too searched for shell casings along Avenue J, and only found a blue pillow and a few drops of what appeared to be blood.

After meeting with Guy to compare findings, Wattenbarger told the jury he was confident that the gun used in the shooting was either a revolver or an automatic weapon.