Traffic #tickets play #role in #teen #murder #suspect’s pre-trial #release #terms

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque teen charged in a road-rage shooting case won’t be forced to stay behind bars through trial, but a judge cracked down on the terms of her release all because traffic tickets.

Alexis Rogers, 19, is facing murder, conspiracy, evidence tampering and other charges in relation to the March 2018 shooting death of 16-year old Efrain Arzarte Jr.

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office investigators say Arzarte Jr. was shot in the head following a road rage incident in Albuquerque’s South Valley in March. Investigators say 16-year old Damien Luna, who is acccused of pulling the trigger, was riding in a car being driven by Rogers.

The two were caught more than a month after the shooting after they reportedly went on a road trip through Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and California.

Investigators believe the victim’s car cut off Rogers’ car, sparking a verbal fight and ultimately the shooting.

Rogers faced a judge Wednesday as prosecutors with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office argued that Rogers should be held in MDC while the case against her plays out in court.

“You’re on a very tight leash,” remarked Judge Brett Loveless, who oversaw the Wednesday pre-trial detention motion hearing.

Defense attorney Kari Morrissey argued in court Tuesday that Rogers should not be held in jail as the case moves through the court.

“She didn’t say, ‘I’m going to kill you,’ right? Not according to the witnesses?” said Morrissey, questioning a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office investigator on the stand.

The investigator responded, “No.”

Morrissey also argued that, “There is absolutely no evidence that (Rogers) knew (Luna) was going to shoot (Arzarte Jr).”

Prosecutors argued that Rogers is a danger to the community.

“There isn’t any evidence that (Rogers) pulled the trigger, however she clearly aided, abetted and gave the opportunity to enable Damien Luna to do that,” said Josh Rubin, a prosecutor for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office.

Ultimately, Judge Loveless ruled the state’s argument wasn’t enough to keep Rogers behind bars, but he also said Rogers was a “flight risk.”

While Rogers doesn’t have any criminal history, the judge made his ruling based partly on the fact that Rogers has several traffic tickets that she never went to court for.

“These cases being no more than four, five months old, and yet she’s failed to appear in three separate occasions,” said Judge Loveless.

According to the judge, the tickets were for speeding and driving without a license.

“The basis for my decision is the fact that in the year 2018 alone, she has three ‘failures to appear’ in court cases, and there’s evidence that’s been presented that she fled the jurisdiction after the alleged incident, traveling to El Paso, Arizona, Nevada, California and Colorado,” said Judge Loveless.

In a rare move, the judge set a $150,000 cash or surety bond for Rogers.

“If you violate the conditions of release, (the case) comes back in front of me, I will have no hesitation putting you in jail and that’s where you’ll stay until this case is over with,” said Judge Loveless.

Rogers will have to stay in MDC to complete a drug treatment program first. If she does that and posts bond, the judge says Rogers would have to stay at her grandparents’ house.

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