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APD detectives arrest 2nd suspect in West Side homicide

Homicide Arrest
July 11, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – APD detectives arrested a second suspect for the July 4 murder of Joel Valdez who was in a domestic dispute with his wife.

James Sena, 34, was arrested Monday evening and charged with conspiracy to commit a 1st degree felony.

Homicide detectives arrested Erica Valdez, the victim’s wife, on July 7 and charged her for the murder of her husband the previous night. Through investigation, detectives learned that two different guns were used during two shootings targeting Joel Valdez on the night of the murder.

Detectives determined that Erica Valdez and James Sena had been dating each other, and they were suspects in a shooting at a house on July 3, 2023.

On July 4, Joel Valdez confronted the pair at the Motel 6, where Sena worked as a security guard. Erica Valdez and Sena were armed with handguns.

Later that night, Erica Valdez went to the home she shared with Joel Valdez and someone fired several rounds from a handgun toward the house after a confrontation with him. Erica Valdez returned to the area near the home, on 98th Street, two hours later with another male, believed to be Sena. Joel was shot and killed during a final confrontation at that location.