A Carlsbad man was charged with second degree murder accused of discharging the shotgun which fatally struck Christopher Jeffrey Mills in the head Oct. 23, a criminal complaint filed by the Carlsbad Police Department stated.
Police allege R’Jay Chavez-Gonzales, 21, shot Mills during an argument in which Mills accused Chavez-Gonzales of being “a snitch,” read the criminal complaint. The Current-Argus was unable to confirm that Chavez-Gonzales was acting as an informant or in an capacity for any law enforcement agency.
“A witness heard the victim say, ‘so you’re a snitch,’ after making the statement the shotgun went off,” read a court document field by the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s office.
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“Further the defendant admitted to handling the shotgun when it went off. The shotgun was recovered, and the scene secured,” court documents stated.
Police and prosecutors contend Gonzales-Chavez fled the scene after he was confronted by another person at the home where the incident took place. The relationship between Mills and Chavez-Gonzales is unclear. Witnesses said the shooting occurred during a group gathering at the home.
The owner of the weapon is unclear, though the residence was listed as the home of Chavez-Gonzales in the criminal complaint.
The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator reported Mills was shot at close range during a medical examination at Carlsbad Medical Center, according to the criminal complaint.
A CT scan allegedly revealed shotgun pellets in Mills head. He was pronounced dead at Carlsbad Medical Center, the criminal complaint cited.
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Chavez-Gonzales was arrested Oct. 23 at 4:34 p.m. by Carlsbad police and was booked into the Eddy County Detention Center at 1:13 a.m. on Oct. 24, according to online jail records.
He is being held on no bail and no bond.
Chavez-Gonzales was also charged with failure to appear on a 2020 case, unrelated to the shooting.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.