Man accused in slaying backs out of guilty plea

QCS Staff

A man accused of slaying two men in a Tucumcari motel room in March 2011 will be tried for murder after backing out of a guilty plea he’d signed before it was accepted by Judge Albert Mitchell, according to District Attorney Tim Rose.

No date is set for Muziwokuthula Madonda’s trial. Mitchell said he wants to schedule monthly status hearings until a trial date is determined.

Mitchell originally proposed Oct. 21 as the trial date, but Roger Bargas, Madonda’s attorney, said he would need more time to locate and prepare witnesses for the defense.

Rose said he intends to appeal a ruling from Mitchell that would suppress a confession from Madonda, based on procedural grounds.

Madonda, of Chicago, is accused of killing Gabriel Baca, 37, and Bobby Gonzales, 57, both of Tucumcari. Their bodies were found March 24 in a room at the Tucumcari Inn, according to a New Mexico State Police affidavit. Both were shot to death.

Madonda was renting the motel room next door, according to police.

Madonda has been identified as the suspect in two additional homicides that occurred near Akron, Ohio, in February 2011, said state police Lt. Eric Garcia.

Madonda continues to be held in the Quay County Detention Center.

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