James Theriault found guilty of Murder in shooting death of neighbor.

James Theriault found guilty of Murder in shooting death of neighbor.

December 13, 2023 | Las Cruces, NM— James Theriault was found guilty by Las Cruces jury in the shooting of Fatima Ortiz who survived multiple gunshot wounds and the death of Carlos Picharo. The victims were neighbors of Theriault with a long-standing feud between them. 

After deliberating for about 3 hours, the jury found Theriault guilty of 2nd degree felony count of Murder, Attempted Murder, a 2nd degree felony and Conspiracy to commit Tampering with Evidence a 3rd degree felony in the shooting death of Picharo.

On July 9, 2022, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to South San Pedro Street, where they found Picharo with a gunshot wound to the chest.  

Picharo and Ortiz returned to their apartment finding Theriault sitting on his front porch and Ortiz started to record him, because of the run-ins with him that morning.   Ortiz said that Theriault shouted “Record me, baby,” before pulling a gun out and began shooting at the couple.  Ortiz said that Theriault shot her twice as she fled, Picharo attempted to get the gun away from Theriault and was shot.  Theriault then followed Ortiz into her house and shot her four more times.

Ortiz witnessed Theriault’s son pull him away, told him to stop and they went back to his apartment. During Theriault’s testimony and what he told police at the scene that he shot them in self-defense.