Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Man's murder trial to begin June 6


May 25, 2022

A Tucumcari man accused of murder will go to trial in early June after lawyers for both sides met Friday during an online hearing to iron out details.

Joshua Braziel’s jury trial is scheduled to begin on June 6 in the Quay County Courthouse and go for five days.

Braziel, now 31, is charged with first-degree murder and felony possession of methamphetamine after he was accused of fatally shooting Bryan Youman, 19, of Tucumcari in the head with a handgun on Sept. 4, 2020. Braziel has said the shooting was accidental.

During the hearing Friday, deputy district attorney Heidi Adams said her office was “ready to go” for the trial and had filed a motion to summon a witness from Texas to testify.

Public defender Anna Aragon had no objection to Adams’ motion, and District Judge Albert Mitchell Jr. granted it.

Aragon added that Braziel was “anxious to do the trial.”

Braziel sat impassively in chair at the Quay County Detention Center during the videoconference hearing. He has been held without bond since his arrest.

State police interviewed George Molinas, who was at the Tucumcari home when the shooting occurred.

“Mr. Molinas informed agents he heard Joshua Braziel say to Youman, ‘Are you ready to die today’ and heard a loud bang,” an investigating officer wrote.

Molinas said he entered the home after a gunshot and saw Youman bleeding from his head and Braziel yelling, “I’m going to jail!”

Molinas said Braziel “likes to mess around with his firearms and is very careless when it comes to handling of his guns,” an affidavit stated.

The most serious charge against Braziel is an open murder count, which means first-degree murder under more than one possible theory. Those include willful, deliberate and premeditated killing; a killing during an actual or attempted commission of a felony; or a killing by an act that is “greatly dangerous to another’s life and evidences a depraved mind which has no regard for human life.”


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