Prosecutors say man was intentionally killed with lethal dose of drugs

........................................................................................................................................................................................

Two Los Lunas men were indicted in connection with the death of a Monterey Park man who died from ingesting a lethal mixture of cocaine and heroin in late February.

Archie Manzanares, 43, and Michael Brown, 28, were indicted on charges related to the death of 46-year-old Christopher Hernandez, a man whose body was found in Monterey Park that month.

Police allege Manzanares, who was indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges, intentionally gave the man enough drugs to overdose after the two men apparently had a disagreement over a SKS rifle.

According to a police report, witnesses told police Hernandez "disrespected" Manzanares a couple of weeks before he died and that he deliberately gave the victim enough to overdose to get possession over his vehicle and other belongings.

Valencia County Sheriff's deputies found the man lying in a field after a passerby noticed the body and flagged down a deputy.

Hernandez was found with his pants and underwear around his ankles with his groin exposed. There were no obvious signs of trauma.

According to the report, witnesses said Manzanares, who is also known as Lobo, administered the lethal shot of narcotics while Brown held his legs at an El Cerro residence.

Manzanares allegedly put a plastic bag over Hernandez's head after he apparently did not immediately die as a result of the drug overdose.

The action was an attempt to make it look like the man aspirated on his own vomit, the report said.

The mother of Hernandez told detectives her son was "100 percent disabled" as a result of a degenerative bone disease and had suffered from the condition for several years.

Shortly after Hernandez died, several people at the residence "freaked out" and decided to make it look like a robbery and took the man's phone and gold jewelry.

According to the report, rims from Hernandez's vehicle were removed following the incident.

The report said Manzanares took the man's vehicle and sold it to Albuquerque Metal Recycling to be crushed and disposed. He used his New Mexico driver's license to sell the vehicle, the report said. Manzanares allegedly took the money and went to Palace West at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Isleta Pueblo.

Hernandez's body was found a few days after family members were unable to make contact with him.

Manzanares is charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, one count of tampering with evidence, one count of conspiracy, one count of receiving or transferring of a motor vehicle, forgery and larceny of more than $500.

Brown is charged with one count of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence, conspiracy, forgery and larceny of more than $500.


-- Email the author at bruffner@news-bulletin.com.