By ROB LARSON
Daily Press Staff Writer
After a preliminary hearing lasting more than seven hours Wednesday, Artesia Magistrate Court Judge Daniel Reyes ruled to bind Jess Carpenter over to district court as a second-degree murder case.
Carpenter, 26, of Artesia, is charged in the homicide of Joseph Darras, 30, a crime that occurred last May. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.
According to Carpenter’s interrogation by the Eddy County Sheriff’s Department, Carpenter claimed that Darras’ murder was completely accidental. According to Carpenter, not only was Darras his best friend, but the victim was also going to be his best man at his wedding the following month.
According to the police interrogation and the defense, the two men returned to Carpenter’s home following a long night of drinking on May 21, 2011. Darras was allegedly upset over a confrontation with two Hispanic men “with baggy jeans and tattoos” at Chapz Bar & Grill, the last of three bars the pair visited. As a result, Carpenter went to his bedroom and took out a 12-gauge shotgun and a .45 revolver, which he placed in either his back, left pocket or the waistband of his jeans.
Darras then entered the bedroom and, while Carpenter was allegedly taking the revolver out of his back pocket/waistband to throw in on the bed, the gun went off, shooting Darras in the head. Within the next few minutes, Carpenter called 911.
By ROB LARSON
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