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Drive-by shooting trial pits brother against brother in Las Cruces

barrera brothers
Julio Gutierrez-Barrera (left) watched his younger brother Alonzo Barrera (right) testify against him.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - In a trial in an intense and emotional case where two brothers were once both suspects, one testified against another on Tuesday afternoon.

"Who shot the firearm?" asked prosecutor Richard Jacquez.

“My brother," responded Alonzo Barrera.

Both Alonzo Barrera and Julio Gutierrez-Barrera were arrested in 2017 in connection with a drive-by shooting that killed 14-year-old Jocelyn Trujillo-Pierce. At the time, Alonzo was age 19 and Julio was 20.

Last week, Alonzo pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony. This week, Julio is standing trial for the murder.

On Monday, Julio's attorney said his client's DNA was not on the gun. However, Alonzo under oath told the jury that his brother was the person who fired the fatal shot. Alonzo did admit to throwing the gun out the window.

"I was just under peer pressure," Alonzo said. "Shocked. At the time, you don't even think about it, because you expect or did not expect what happened."

Prior to Alonzo's testimony, an ABC-7 staffer overheard Julio ask aloud in the courtroom: "Should I take a plea, bro?" The two then had a brief exchange before the trial resumed.

New Mexico / News / Top Stories / Video

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.


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