Man accused of Clovis stabbing found competent for trial

Matthew Jennings
Clovis Police said a DNA match helped them solve the murder last month of a young mother in a park.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — A man accused of fatally stabbing a Clovis woman in a city park in 2014 has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors said Thursday that 28-year-old Matthew Jennings of Clovis received the mandatory sentence.

A judge ruled in February that Jennings was found competent to stand trial and it was scheduled to begin this month.

Jennings was accused of killing 23-year-old Ariel Ulibarri in November 2014 at Goodwin Trails Park.

According to court records, Ulibarri was walking with her 6-year-old son when Jennings attacked her.

Her body was discovered after Ulibarri’s son showed a citizen where his mother was lying along the trail.

Authorities say Jennings was arrested a month later after DNA evidence found on the knife connected him to the killing.

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