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Update: Teen charged with 1st degree murder in stabbing death, will face charges as adult

June 9, 2015 UPDATE: Jose Luis Salazar, 17, was arraigned in Magistrate Court Tuesday for allegedly fatally stabbing 20-year old Carlos Adrian Contreras.

Magistrate Court Judge Conrad Perea found probable cause for the 1st degree Murder charge and set no bond for Salazar.

The case will now be bound over to District Court.

Salazar will face the charges as an adult.

June 8, 2015 UPDATE:

Doa Ana County Sheriff’s detectives 17-year-old Jose Luis Salazar Jr. late Monday night and charged him with an open count of murder and say additional charges are pending.

Sheriff’s detectives have been investigating the death of 20-year-old Carlos Contreras, who was found stabbed in the 7500 block of El Centro Boulevard just after 2 a.m. Saturday .

Salazar is being held in the juvenile facility at the Dona Ana County Detention Center without bond.


ABC-7 is getting its first look at the young man killed Friday night in Las Cruces.

Police in Las Cruces say he is 20-year-old Carlos “Adrian” Contreras, Jr. Our New Mexico Mobile Newsroom got a picture of him from his family.

Contreras’ relatives say he graduated from Onate High School in 2014. Dona Ana County Sheriff’s deputies tell ABC-7 someone stabbed him during a house party at an East Mesa home on the 7500 block of El Centro.

ABC-7 spoke with Contreras’ family on Sunday. When ABC-7 arrived at Contreras’ home, in the shadow of the Organ mountains and just a few miles from where he was stabbed to death, more than 30 family members and friends were outside grieving his loss.

“He just went to have a good time with his brother and one came home and one didn’t,” said Adrian Contreras’ uncle, Jose Contreras, who had a hard time trying to explain what happened to his nephew at a house party Friday night at this home in Las Cruces. “His brother was with him, his brother went to the restroom, and three guys beat him up. I guess they weren’t happy with just that, they had to stab him with a knife, a cowardly action. And we don’t understand why someone would do that to another human being.”

An EMS crew airlifted Contreras to University Medical Center in El Paso. He died during surgery.

“We strongly believe that justice will be served and we strongly believe in Las Cruces PD,” Jose Contreras added.

Contreras’ mother, Corinna Sandoval, understandably had a hard time speaking about her son.

“He has a lot of siblings and he loved them all,” she said through tears.

While some were emotional, others in Contreras’ family are angry.

“I’m angry that nowadays kids can’t go to a party,” said Contreras’ aunt Marlene Negrete. “I can see about fighting, a rumble, but come on. Knives? Guns? I mean these are innocent kids. I can’t understand why they’re doing this to each other.”

Contreras’ aunt said the family wants justice.

“Please, anybody who saw anything, can you please come forward?” she said. “Because this could be your brother, this could be your son, this could be your grandson, your nephew, like it was mine. And you know you would want the same type of justice and you would want somebody to come forward.”

Contreras was working at Subway and had recently decided to enroll at Dona Ana Community College. If you have any information about this deadly stabbing, contact Las Cruces Police.

The family has started a account to help pay for burial expenses. If you would like to help visit the page at

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