Local motorcycle organization speaks out against DA’s decision

Earl Roybal
Earl Roybal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man who shot and killed a motorcyclist at a car wash will not be charged. Now, a local motorcycle organization is speaking out against the District Attorney’s Office.

Saturday, dozens of bikers gathered at “Hose It” self-service where the shooting happened. They voiced anger and frustration that no charges will be filed against the man who killed Earl Roybal.

Back in March, Roybal was shot and killed in a stall at the “Hose It” self-service car wash near Coors and Sequoia.

James Morales admitted to shooting Roybal but claims he did it out of self-defense.

The investigation showed Roybal punched Morales in the face. Morales then pulled a concealed handgun on Roybal and when Roybal moved for his own gun, Morales fired three times.

Friday night, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office announced no charges will be filed against Morales.

DA Raul Torrez says the decision is based on the fact that Morales’s self-defense claim would have made a conviction impossible.

That news did not sit well with the New Mexico Motorcyclist Rights Organization (NMMRO), which Roybal belonged to.

“We’re also pushing for a review of this case. The DA still has the option of prosecuting the shooter in this situation,” said Raymond Gallegos the co-chair of NMMRO. “We’re just going to ask they review it. We’ve found several instances within the investigation. We cannot understand why charges were not brought.”

Roybal’s family also insists on his innocence in what happened. The family also says they’re concerned that Morales is on the streets.

Both Roybal’s family and the motorcycle rights group says they’re not giving up until Morales is charged.

DA Torrez says his decision to not charge Morales does not mean he condones this type of behavior. He called the death tragic and says it should have never happened.

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