Man accused in killing becomes key figure in governor’s race

A man accused of killing his estranged girlfriend four days after he got out of prison has become a central figure in the New Mexico governor’s race

Per Santa Fe New Mexican:

A man accused of killing his estranged girlfriend four days after he got out of prison has become a central figure in the New Mexico governor’s race amid Republican assertions Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is responsible for his early release.

Christopher Beltran, 27, has become a poster boy for what Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti and the Republican Governors Association have characterized as Lujan Grisham’s soft-on-crime policies that have made New Mexico a dangerous place to live.

Both Ronchetti and the RGA have cited the Beltran case in attack ads that pin his “early” release — and the subsequent killing of Dominique Gonzales of Roswell — on Lujan Grisham.

“The governor released him from prison early, said he was ready to be our neighbor,” claims an ad from Ronchetti.

“Days after his early release, he hunted his ex-girlfriend down, shot her in the face, murdered her,” states an ad from the RGA.


Will Reinert, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association, said the release of a “hardened criminal” resulted in a “preventable murder.”

“Lujan Grisham’s attempt to shirk responsibility won’t undo the pain caused to the victim’s family,” he wrote in a statement. “But it does show New Mexicans her true colors.”

In prison phone recordings, Beltran had threatened Gonzales before his release.

“Got the biggest gun that I could have from the [expletive] gun store,” he told her in one recording that was included in the RGA’s ad. “[Expletive] dead girl walking.”

Here's more from Santa Fe New Mexican:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti again put murder defendant Christopher Beltran at the center of campaign debate, announcing Monday he would pursue legislation designed to prevent the early release of “dangerous criminals” from New Mexico prisons.

Ronchetti’s camp has named the proposed legislation “Monique’s Law” after Roswell resident Dominique Gonzales, whom authorities allege was fatally shot by ex-boyfriend Beltran in June 2021.

Ryan Sabel, a campaign spokesman for Ronchetti, a former TV meteorologist, wrote in an email Monday the proposal was named with the blessing of Gonzales’ family.

Ronchetti spotlighted her death, which came days after Beltran’s release from prison, during a televised debate Oct. 12 with Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“His story is shocking,” Ronchetti said in the debate. “He was released early from prison and then he was on the phone from prison before being released talking to his girlfriend, saying he was coming to get her. … He made good on that promise.”


1 year, 4 months ago

Governors in Iowa, North Dakota and Alabama join GOP colleagues in banning TikTok for state employees

The Republican governors of three more states have joined the growing number of GOP governors who are banning TikTok among state government employees amid security concerns about the Chinese-owned social media platform

1 year, 4 months ago

Arizona Governor Creates Shipping Container Border Wall

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has had hundreds of double-stacked shipping containers topped with razor wire placed on the state’s border with Mexico

1 year, 4 months ago

Stacey Abrams’s Georgia Nonprofit Could Face Criminal Investigations for Unlicensed Fundraising

New Georgia Project's charity license has lapsed in at least nine states

1 year, 4 months ago

Biden says ‘more important things’ than border visit, despite 59 trips to Delaware, 8 stops for ice cream

Biden has yet to visit southern border despite historic crisis under his watch

1 year, 4 months ago

Governor Kristi Noem delivers annual Budget Address, says the state can afford grocery tax cut

In about thirty minutes of remarks, Governor Kristi Noem laid out her administration would like to see nearly $2.2 billion spent over the course of the next fiscal year and a half.

1 year, 4 months ago

‘A Clear And Present Danger To Its Users:’ South Carolina Gov. Bans State Employees From Using TikTok Amid National Security Concerns

South Carolina became the second state in the union Monday to permanently ban state employees’ electronic devices from using TikTok amid federal officials sounding the alarm that the Chinese-based social media app threatens national security