UPDATE, Dec. 15: A Las Cruces man accused of attacking his stepfather and hitting him in the head with a hammer more than three weeks ago is now facing a murder charge following the victim’s death.
Alejandro Nevarez, 28, was initially charged with attempted murder when he was arrested last month, but authorities said Tuesday they had upgraded the charge to murder.
Police said 56-year-old John Padilla died Monday at University Medical Center of El Paso where he had been hospitalized with severe head injuries after the attack.
Investigators also disclosed that Nevarez's mother witnessed the end of the attack.
"Nevarez’s mother indicated she went to the backyard and saw her husband injured, on the ground with her son standing over him and holding a hammer," a newly-released police statement said.
Nevarez remained held without bond Tuesday at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.
UPDATE, Nov. 25: In a court hearing on Wednesday, Judge Casey Fitch found Alejandro Nevarez to be a danger to the community.
As a result, he ordered that Nevarez remain held without bond in the Doña Ana County Detention Center until his trial on accusations that he beat his stepfather with a hammer.
ORIGINAL REPORT, Nov. 23: LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — A Las Cruces man has been arrested and is facing multiple felony charges after he allegedly used a hammer to critically injure his stepfather, police said Monday.
Alejandro Nevarez, 28, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery against a household member and tampering with evidence.
Las Cruces police were dispatched to a home along 1100 block of Lees Drive where they found a 56-year-old man with severe injuries to his head. The victim was transported to University Medical Center in El Paso where he remained hospitalized in critical condition.
Investigators say Nevarez had challenged his stepfather to a fight and threatened to injure him on Friday afternoon.
At one point, police say Nevarez followed his stepfather outside and used a hammer to strike his head multiple times.
Nevarez fled the home before police arrived, but officers located him at a nearby abandoned home.
He was taken into custody without incident. Investigators believe Nevarez discarded the hammer when he fled the home.
Nevarez is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center without bond.