Jail slashing case delayed

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) – Sentencing for a Las Cruces prisoner convicted of stabbing and slashing a fellow inmate in 2006 has been delayed so a judge can hear evidence of his previous murder conviction.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that District Court Judge Douglas Driggers on Wednesday scheduled a hearing for next month instead of sentencing 38-year-old Dominic Montoya.

Prosecutors say Montoya has previous felony convictions, including one for a 1999 murder in Albuquerque.

Montoya says he was never convicted. Court records show he pleaded guilty in that case.

Prosecutors must now present evidence at the Sept. 19 hearing. Evidence of a prior murder conviction could add to Montoya’s sentence.

Montoya was convicted of second-degree murder in the April 2006 killing of Adam Avalos, who had his right ear cut off.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News

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