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The original item was published from 12/16/2020 8:20:11 AM to 1/10/2021 12:00:01 AM.

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Public Safety

Posted on: December 15, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Stepson Now Charged with Murder in Suspected Hammer Attack

Alejandro Nevarez Arrest mug

The man suspected of striking his stepfather over the head with a hammer more than three weeks ago is now charged with murder following the victim’s death.


Alejandro Nevarez, 28, of the 1100 block of Lees Drive, was initially charged with attempted murder. Investigators have upgraded the charge to murder. Nevarez also faces one count of tampering with evidence.


About 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, Las Cruces police were dispatched to the report of a man who was critically injured by his stepson at a home on the 1100 block of Lees Drive. Officers arrived to find 56-year-old John Padilla with severe injuries to his head. Padilla was transported to the University Medical Center of El Paso.


Padilla died from his injuries on the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 14.


Investigators learned Nevarez was challenging Padilla, his stepfather, to a fight and threatening to injure him on the afternoon of Nov. 20. Sometime prior to 5:30 p.m. that day, investigators believe, Nevarez followed Padilla outside and used a hammer to strike his head multiple times. Nevarez’s mother indicated she went to the backyard and saw her husband injured, on the ground with her son standing over him and holding a hammer.


Nevarez fled the home before police arrived, but officers located him at a nearby abandoned residence. He was taken into custody without further incident. Investigators believe Nevarez discarded the hammer when he fled from the home.


Nevarez remains incarcerated at the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is being held without bond.

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