Indictment handed down in ML dragging death

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A man who police say carjacked and eventually killed a man in February has been indicted by a Valencia County grand jury.

Chris Andrade, 29, of Meadow Lake, has been indicted on first-degree murder (or the alternatives of second-degree murder and homicide by vehicle) for allegedly causing the death of 66-year-old Anthony Cabrera.

He is also facing charges of aggravated burglary, a second-degree felony, breaking and entering, a fourth-degree felony, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, and leaving the scene of an accident, causing great bodily injury.

Valencia County Sheriff deputies say Andrade allegedly dragged Cabrera, of El Cerro Mission, more than a 130 feet in a carjacking in Meadow Lake on Jan. 24, in an incident that eventually claimed the life of the victim. Cabrera died from injuries on Feb. 9.

Deputies arrested Andrade after they say he dragged Cabrera 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. 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 at the time of the arrest.

Andrade matched the description of the suspect that was caught 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.

A probation officer recognized Andrade from surveillance footage because he had "numerous official dealings" with him, Hall said.

Court documents state 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.

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


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