Criminal charges were amended Tuesday afternoon in the December 29 shooting in Magdalena leaving one person dead and another injured.

The charges against Daniel Rufenacht state he would be bound over for trial in the district court under the following counts: Murder in the second degree, aggravated battery (deadly weapon), alternatively aggravated battery (great bodily harm) and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer (resisting)

On Jan. 2, Rufenacht was charged in a criminal complaint, in Socorro County Magistrate Court with first degree murder and aggravated battery (use of a deadly weapon) in the death of Sandra Apachito and injury to Fred Leyba.

According to the criminal complaint obtained by El Defensor Chieftain, Magdalena Deputy Tim Gutierrez’s indicated he responded to a call-in reference to a barricaded subject at Pine and Sixth Street in Magdalena. Socorro Sheriff’s Sergeant Regi Peralto and Deputy Augusta Armaro were on the scene when Gutierrez arrived around 2:26 p.m. and told him that Apachito was deceased and Leyba had been shot.

Leyba told officers that he and his female friend, Sandra Apachito, were taking parts off the stripped truck when Rufenacht came out of his camper trailer and shot him in the right buttocks. Leyba said that he was friends with Rufenacht and had been given permission to take parts off the truck. Leyba told the deputy that if Rufenacht knew it was him he would never have shot him.

The report also states neighbors told Gutierrez that they had heard two-gun shots coming from that address and heard two people yelling at each other and when they went to see what was going on they noticed two people lying on the ground behind the stripped truck. They also noticed a male individual walking back toward the camper trailer.

The complaint further states that after Rufenacht was taken into custody and read his Miranda Rights. Rufenacht agreed to talk to the deputy without an attorney present.
Deputy Gutierrez reported that Rufenacht told him that he had seen two people on his property taking parts off the stripped truck and went outside and fired two shots with his .22 Mag Marlin rifle from the porch of his camper trailer. When he shot the male (Leyba) he was bent over with his back towards him and he said that he did not recognize that it was Leyba. He said when the female (Apachito) was attempting to stand up is when he shot her in the shoulder.

The complaint states Rufenacht went back into his trailer and put the rifle on the couch and covered it with a cloth. He then heard Leyba yelling outside so he went outside and offered to call the ambulance.

Rufenacht asked Leyba what the noise was and Leyba told him that it was Apachito. At that time, Rufenacht went back into the trailer for approximately 15 minutes then into the house. Law enforcement found Rufenacht face down laying down on the floor.

Rufenacht’s detention and preliminary hearing was Tuesday, January 9, in Judge Mercedes C. Murphy’s courtroom.

At the hearing this past Tuesday, Rufenacht was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond under the third-party custody of his wife at her residence on Kelly Road.
Rufenacht and his wife agreed to the custody under conditions of reporting to pre-trail services at a minimum of once a week or as directed, no drugs, marijuana, or alcohol, subject to random urinalysis, no contact with the victim and confined to Socorro County with the ability to make requests to leave the county.

They also agreed to a search of both residences on Pine Street and Kelly Road to allow Socorro County Sheriff to remove and secure all firearms.

Jessica Carranza Pino, Editor