Man Pleads No Contest to Killing Hobbs Boy

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - A 24-year-old man has pleaded no contest to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 11-year-old Hobbs boy.

Carlos Maldonado entered his plea Monday in state district court in Carlsbad on a charge of venue from Lea County. Police say the child, Lawrence Juarez, was killed Dec. 2, 2006, when Maldonado pumped several gunshots into a vehicle where the boy sat with his father.

Maldonado went through two trials and had been slated for a third before pleading in the case. Jurors in the first trial found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals over turned that verdict on the basis of incorrect jury instructions. The second trial ended in a mistrial when a juror alleged intimidation from an unknown person.