Grand jury indicts Joseph Bibiano on murder, tampering

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A 19-year-old Los Lunas man has been indicted by a Valencia County grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and four counts of tampering with evidence.

Joseph Bibiano is accused of shooting and killing his 18-year-old girlfriend, Desiree Schiffli on June 19 in their Los Lunas apartment. Prosecutors also charge Bibiano of hiding the murder weapon, hiding the clothing he was wearing at the time of the alleged murder, moving Schiffli's body and destroying blood and other trace evidence.

Bibiano is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond in the Valencia County Detention Center in Los Lunas.

According to police reports, sheriff's deputies were called to the Sycamore Village Apartments on Mountain Laurel when a friend of Bibiano's called saying a woman was dead in an apartment. Deputies found Schiffli dead, leaning up against a bed.

According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant, a witness told sheriff's investigators that Bibiano, described as being upset, approached him while at the apartment complex and asked him for help.

"(The witness) asked Bibiano what kind of help he needed," the affidavit read. "Bibiano allegedly told (the witness) he had a dead body in his apartment.

"(The witness) said he did not believe him and asked (Bibiano) to show him. The men entered the apartment and (the witness) observed the female, who was dead, in the bedroom."

When the witness asked Bibiano what happened, Bibiano told him that he had gotten into an argument with his girlfriend and had shot her in the head with a .22-caliber weapon.

The witness told deputies he immediately called 911 and told Bibiano to stay in his apartment, which he did, for a period of time. When the witness went back into the apartment, he saw Bibiano sitting on the couch crying.

According to a police report, Deputy Calvin Lucero said he went to the autopsy of Schiffli and was informed by Dr. Celina Wu, of the Office of the Medical Investigator, that the young woman died of a gunshot wound to the back of her head. She also told the deputy that Schiffli was not pregnant and had superficial scratches on her arms.

Another police report says that deputies received a call from one of Bibiano's relatives saying that she had the clothes he was wearing at the time of the incident.

When the deputy met the woman to retrieve the clothing, another relative spoke with the deputy and said Bibiano had gone to his house at 2 a.m. on June 20 and told him he had killed Schiffli "because she did not wake him up in time for court with Judge Hawkes," the report said.

According to online court records, Bibiano was scheduled to appear before Magistrate Danny Hawkes at 9 a.m. June 19 for an arraignment hearing on a charge of possession of an alcoholic beverage by a minor.

The relative gave Bibiano a change of clothes and told him to leave, which he did, according to the report.

In the morning hours of Thursday, June 20, the car Bibiano was seen driving after the shooting, was found at Ann Parish Elementary School.

Later that day, Valencia County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to Canyon Road in Belen where they arrested Bibiano.

As Bibiano was being escorted to the county jail, he told reporters the shooting was an accident and that Schiffli had been hitting him while he had his gun in his hand. "I (expletive) loved her," Bibiano said, crying. "I'm sorry."

According to police reports, sheriff's deputies had been dispatched to Bibiano's apartment nine days before the shooting on a domestic violence call. No charges were filed.

Bibiano had been dating Schiffli for three months and living with her for one month.


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