Court upholds Albuquerque man’s 2nd-degree murder conviction

May 23, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has upheld the second-degree murder conviction of an Albuquerque man for a fatal shooting in a dispute over a $30 drug debt.

But the state’s high court threw out a first-degree felony murder conviction for the same killing.

Jason Comitz was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 15 years for the murder and other crimes during the shooting at the home of Paul Randy Rael in February 2015.

Rael died and his son and stepson were wounded.

In its unanimous ruling Thursday, the court also affirmed Comitz’s convictions of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated battery, child abuse and sentencing enhancements for the use of a firearm in the crimes.

Several other convictions were vacated.

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