Local man pleads guilty to homicide by vehicle

Staff Report

A Tucumcari man plead guilty to a charge of homicide by a vehicle on Nov. 11 in the Tenth Judicial District Court in Tucumcari.

Fourth Judicial District judge Abigail Aragon accepted the guilty plea from David Urea-Lopez, 28, in connection to the death of Sylvia Cruz, 24 of Tucumcari.

Urea-Lopez was the driver of a vehicle that wrecked on Jan. 25, 2013, on Five Mile Park Road resulting in Cruz’s death.

At 6:46 a.m., Jan. 25, 2013, New Mexico State Police officers were investigating the fatal single vehicle crash on Five Mile Park Road. A man who identified himself as David Carlos Guzman, walked into Tucumcari Police headquarters to request an ambulance to respond to an accident at that same location.

Officers located Cruz’s body lying next to a Pontiac passenger car on Five Mile Road. Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene and it is not known if she was ejected or removed from the vehicle.

Guzman was questioned by state police and admitted to being with Cruz at the time of the accident but denied being the driver of the vehicle.

The fingerprint results from the FBI revealed Guzman’s true identity as then 25 year-old David Urea-Lopez. Through the course of the investigation and eyewitness statements officers determined Urea-Lopez was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Urea-Lopez also plead guilty to tampering with evidence, failure to render aid and failure to give immediate notice of accident.

Urea-Lopez faces a maximum of eight years and nine months of incarceration in the New Mexico Department of Corrections.

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