- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2020

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - A migrant in the United States illegally will serve nine years in prison after pleading no contest to second-degree murder in the shooting death of a co-worker a Roswell-area ranch.

Jose Dominguez was sentenced Wednesday in the 2018 killing of 46-year-old Luciano Sifuentes, a fellow migrant from Mexico, the Roswell Daily Record reported.

Under the prosecution’s recommendation accepted by District Judge Dustin Hunter, Dominguez was sentenced to 15 years in prison but six years will be suspended.

As part of the plea deal, a charge of tampering with evidence was dismissed.

Hunter said Dominguez will be deported back to Mexico upon completion of his sentence.

Court documents say Dominguez acknowledged to investigators that he’d shot Sifuentes, because Sifuentes had “disrespected” him and that he feared Sifuentes was going to hit or stab him.

Dominguez fled after the shooting and threw the handgun used in the crime into a ditch.

Family members of Sifuentes pleaded unsuccessfully with Hunter to impose the maximum sentences totaling 18 years for the two counts.

Dominguez sobbed when he told the judge through a a translator that he didn’t intend kill Sifuentes. “I did not mean to do this, I got scared,” Dominguez said.

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