NM Supreme Court Affirms Life in Prison Sentence for Alamogordo’s Christopher Huble


Supreme Court of New Mexico affirms life sentence - 2nd Life Media

Christopher Huble of Alamogordo appealed his conviction for first-degree murder to the New Mexico Supreme Court. The court released its findings on June 10, 2024 in the case and ruled against Christopher Huble allowing his conviction to stand. 

Huble was sentenced to life in prison in 2022 for killing Harley Benedict after he discovered the man with his ex-girlfriend in the bedroom of a house he owned in 2020. Huble and the woman previously lived there together, but Huble had moved out, according to the court ruling.

The New Mexico courts found that Huble provoked the deadly encounter, and made a “show of potentially deadly force” by brandishing an AK-47 and calling for Benedict to come outside the house. The court wrote that “in response to the lethal situation Defendant created, no reasonable juror could conclude that Victim’s actions in leaving the house and running at Defendant from a distance could have created an apparent danger of death or great bodily harm justifying a self-defense instruction.”

The court also rejected an argument by Huble that his conviction should be reversed because the trial judge instructed the jury that New Mexico law does not allow a landlord to unilaterally act outside the legal system to forcefully evict a tenant or someone invited to the property by its owner.

There is no direct evidence that the jury was confused because jurors did not question the instruction, and their verdict was not infirm in any way. See State v. Romero, 2009-NMCA-012,  25, 145 N.M. 594, 203 P.3d 125 (inferring that the jury was not confused because it did not request a definition). Further, the instruction did not conflict with any other instruction. See Benally, 2001-NMSC-033, 18, 22 (determining fundamental error where one jury instruction supplied a burden of proof and another did not). 

The instruction is plainly irrelevant to the facts of this case as no evidence or theory indicated that Defendant killed Victim while trying to evict him, there was no rental agreement, Defendant was not a landlord, Gurule was not a tenant, and Victim was not an invitee,”the court wrote.For these reasons, the instruction should not have been given, but that does not make it error.”

The defendant had a history of a number of run ins with the lawChristopher Huble, 34, of Alamogordo, was sentenced to life in prison for the Aug. 20, 2020 murder of Harley Benedict and affirmed by the Supreme Court of New Mexico. He will also serve an additional four years of incarceration for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon with firearm enhancement. Both sentences were pronounced at hearing May 13, 2020 and affirmed on June 10, 2024.

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