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New Mexico State Police investigation leads to conviction in DWI homicide case

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On May 1, 2017, a tragic rollover crash happened on NM State Road 118 in Gallup. Two adults were killed and three children were seriously injured. The driver of the vehicle, Elijah King, was suspected of being drunk at the time of the crash. King was detained at the scene; however, he claimed another man was driving.

New Mexico State Police officers in Gallup responded and conducted an extensive investigation. Their efforts produced solid evidence showing that King was driving drunk at the time of the crash. This evidence later led to King’s conviction.

Immediately after the crash, NMSP officers obtained a blood draw from King, took pictures of his injuries, obtained some incriminating statements from him during an interview, and also arrested him for vehicular homicide.

The New Mexico State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit reconstructed the crash scene. A search warrant was obtained and executed to obtain DNA evidence from the vehicle. In the days following the crash, NMSP officers and agents interviewed several key witnesses and gathered surveillance footage from several locations, some of which showed King getting into the driver’s seat at a gas station, just minutes before the crash.

After extensive interviews, investigation, and follow up, officers were able to prove without a doubt King was the driver at the time of the crash. King pleaded guilty in McKinley County District Court to two counts of Homicide by Vehicle from DWI and three counts of Child Abuse Resulting in Great Bodily Harm. On March 5, he was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison

The New Mexico State Police would like to thank the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and District Attorney Paula Pakkala for their part in bringing this case to justice. The New Mexico State Police is committed to serving the citizens of New Mexico, working for justice, and fighting to ENDWI.