Belen man pleads not guilty to charges he shot his estranged wife

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The Belen man accused of shooting his estranged wife in January pleaded not guilty during an arraignment hearing in Valencia County District Court.

Pio Aquino, 31, was indicted by a Valencia County grand jury on Feb. 7 on charges, including aggravated battery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and three counts of and child abuse.

Police said Aquino shot his 31-year-old wife, Maria Aquino, in the abdomen at close range after the two got into an argument over their children at the La Villa Belen Apartments.

Police said the woman was in the process of getting a divorce from Pio Aquino, who was dropping off two of the children at the woman's home on the 1000 block of Aragon Road on Jan. 28.

Two of the couple's children were in the same room as their parents when Aquino allegedly fired one shot with his .38-caliber revolver, police said.

The woman underwent surgery at an Albuquerque hospital and was released.

The couple's 12-year-old daughter told police that during the January incident, her father took out the gun from his waist area and pointed it at her mother's head following an argument that started in one of the bedrooms.

The girl told police that she went to hide in a bathroom and shortly after heard a loud bang. She came out to find her mother lying face down in the living room. No one else was injured in the incident.

Aquino is being held at the Valencia County Detention Center on a $100,000 cash or surety bond.


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