Man arrested, charged for ML dragging death

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Valencia County Sheriff deputies believe they caught the suspect who dragged a Los Lunas man more than a 130 feet in a carjacking in Meadow Lake last month in an incident that eventually claimed the life of the 66-year-old victim.

On Tuesday, deputies arrested Chris Lee Andrade, 28, of Meadow Lake, on charges of first-degree murder aggravated burglary, breaking and entering and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

Anthony Cabrera Died weeks after incident

Deputies allege he dragged Anthony Cabrera, of El Cerro Mission, by his own truck in January. The incident happened after Cabrera offered Andrade a ride from a nearby convenience store.

Deputies arrested Andrade after they got a tip that he was eating at Panda Express in Los Lunas just after 5 p.m.

Shortly after, he was taken into custody at the Walmart Supercenter.

“It’s a relief that we got him,” said Valencia County Sheriff’s Capt. Gary Hall.

Andrade matched the description of the suspect that was on surveillance footage at the Mana Mini Mart convenience store on El Cerro Mission Road shortly before he asked Cabrera for a ride.

Authorities used Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers and were in contact with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in an effort to find the suspect.

Cabrera died on Feb. 9 as a result of injuries he suffered from the incident. Deputies have been looking for Andrade since learning of the man’s death.

Chris Lee Andrade Charged with first-degree murder

A probation officer recognized Andrade from surveillance footage because he had “numerous official dealings” with him.

Cabrera picked up Andrade in his white 1996 Chevy Silverado and eventually drove westbound on Airport Drive. At some point, Cabrera stopped his vehicle and got out of his truck.

Shortly after, deputies said Andrade slid over and got behind the wheel. Andrade sped off, dragging Cabrera with him until he lost grasp of the door and fell to the ground.

According to a criminal complaint, Cabrera drove Andrade to Sosteno Chavez and Airport roads, where the man stopped his white 1996 Chevy Silverado at Andrade’s request.

The complaint said Andrade claimed something was wrong with the front passenger tire, and after the driver got out of the vehicle, Andrade ran to the driver’s side door and began to drive away.

Cabrera managed to open the door and tried to grab Andrade’s shirt to pull him out of the pickup, the complaint said. Cabrera hung onto the driver’s side door where he eventually lost his grip.

Cabrera was transported to the University of New Mexico Trauma Unit, where he was treated for leg and lower hip injuries.

The complaint said Cabrera also had internal bleeding in his pelvic area and right leg. He had a broken pelvis, broken ribs, a broken right leg and a broken right wrist.

On Jan. 25, he underwent a four-hour surgery for his injuries. Two weeks later, Cabrera passed away.

Cabrera’s daughter, Patty, said her father ran a Bible study group out of his home and had “a kind heart” during his 66 years.

He was originally from California and known as “Pastor Tony.” He ran the Light in the Desert Bible study group out of his home.

“He was really giving and always willing to help people out,” Patty Cabrera said.

She said she was “definitely glad” that deputies arrested and charged Andrade. She said she wonders if the suspect knew the extent of damage he caused in her father’s injuries.

“I’m not sure if he knew,” Patty said. “He was out in the open.”

Patty has helped start a donation fund in her father’s name to help cover medical bills and funeral costs.

If you would like to make a donation, you can go to any Wells Fargo Bank by indicating “Anthony Cabrera Donation Fund” and account No. 3439297031.

Residents can also send donations via mail to the Anthony Cabrera Donation Fund, c/o Patty M. Cabrera, P.O. Box 3213, Los Lunas, N.M. 87031.

Andrade is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond at the Valencia County Detention Center.


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