By Associated Press - Friday, March 4, 2016

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A grand jury has indicted a suspect in the tire-iron death of a man last month north of Las Cruces.

The Dona Ana County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that 36-year-old Vernon Clark was indicted on one count each of second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

County sheriff’s deputies say 33-year-old Jose Lopez-Perez was found lying face-down on the ground with a metal tire iron lodged in his head on Feb. 23.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Clark reportedly told detectives he threw a tire iron at Perez-Lopez after an argument.

Prosecutors say if Clark is convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of 16½ years behind bars.

They also say he could face additional time under the state’s habitual offender law.

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