Rio Rancho man convicted in 2 of 4 armed robberies

Jurors handed down a split verdict late Wednesday night in the jury trial of a Rio Rancho man accused of committing armed robbery at four Santa Fe businesses in 2015.

After deliberating for about seven hours, the jurors convicted Reyes Barela, 33, of two counts of armed robbery and two counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery for having robbed a Motel 6 on Cerrillos Road and a Dollar General store on Airport Road.

The jury could not reach a unanimous decision on whether Barela was guilty of robbing a different Motel 6 on Cerrillos and Petsmart on Zafarano Drive.

District Attorney Marco Serna said he “absolutely” plans to retry Barela on the charges on which the jury was hung.

Barela is waiting to see if prosecutors will try him a third time in a 2013 armed robbery of a Santa Fe medical cannabis facility. He was accused of being one of three men who burst into New Mexico Top Organics, held the two owners at gunpoint and made off with about $30,000 worth of marijuana.

Mistrials were declared twice in that case, first in October, after a police detective inadvertently offered evidence that had been ruled inadmissible, and again in February, when jurors deadlocked after more than nine hours of deliberations.

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