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Artesia man charged with murder over stolen dog

Leonard Tapia
September 21, 2017 06:22 PM

ARTESIA, N.M. -- Authorities in Artesia say a dispute over a stolen dog led to a homicide this past Monday.

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Police responded to a home on the 900 block of Bullock Court around 9 p.m. for a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers say they found 34-year-old Ronald McClean inside one of the homes with a gunshot wound to the head.

Detectives say the man allegedly responsible for shooting McClean is this 25-year-old Ruben Lopez. According to a police report, McClean's girlfriend claims Lopez went to her home and threatened her and her nephews after they allegedly sold him a stolen dog earlier that day. 

"And that's what the altercation started over; [it] was the dog,” said Ricardo Huerta, a commander with the Artesia Police Department.

Police say McClean intervened and was shot in the head by Lopez. McClean was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police records also state Lopez is "a friend of the family." He faces two charges -- one count of open murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held at the Eddy County Detention Center on a no-bond hold.

Lopez has been arrested in past for battery and assault with a deadly weapon.

"The investigation is still ongoing," Huerta said. "We are planning on looking a little bit more into details about you know, with the information received about the dog."

McClean's family has asked for privacy.

Credits

Leonard Tapia

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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