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Suspect in drive-by shooting that killed girl, 14, denied bond

A judge Friday denied bond for one of the two brothers suspected in a drive-by shooting that resulted in the death of a 14-year-old girl.

Police said 14-year-old Jocelyn Trujillo-Pierce sneaked out of her home the night of Saturday July 30, 2017. A few hours later, she was shot and killed at a house party on the 1400 block of Monte Vista.

Police arrested Julio Gutierrez-Barrera, 20 and his 19-year-old brother, Alonzo Barrera. Julio Gutierrez-Barrera is charged with an open count of murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit a felony. Alonzo Barrera is charged with tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Friday, a judge denied Julio Gutierrez-Barrera bond because of alleged gang ties and a perceived risk to the community. Alonzo Barrera is being held without bond, but the judge will consider a $5,000 surety bond in a second hearing.

“There are allegations this is gang-related and the gang task force was called out,” Prosecutor Rebecca Duffin said, “(Those involved in the argument) were wearing red, others were wearing blue. And the defendant shouted out the term ‘big sur.’ It is noted the defendant and his brother were wearing blue that day, which is the color associated with the Surenos Gang in Las Cruces.”

Defense Attorney Gary Mitchell told the judge Julio Gutierrez-Barrera has been in the army reserve for two years. “He has a semester of college behind him and no known record that I am aware of at this stage,” Mitchell said.

Investigators learned the Barrera brothers were at the house party but left after getting into an argument with someone at the location.

Shortly after leaving the party, Julio Gutierrez-Barrera was driving his Hyundai Elantra along Monte Vista Avenue when he allegedly stopped in front of the residence and fired three rounds from a 9mm semiautomatic handgun toward the home. Police said one of those rounds penetrated an exterior wall and struck Trujillo in the back of her head.

Julio Gutierrez-Barrera and his brother then allegedly fled from the scene in the Hyundai Elantra. After learning the identities of the suspects, police located and took custody of both brothers at their apartment at 1410 S. Telshor Blvd. After executing search warrants, police located the handgun in the glove box of a vehicle belonging to a friend of the brothers.

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