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Press Release

Two Las Cruces men face federal firearms charges relating to the killing of woman

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced today that Margarito Serena and David Aguilar made an initial appearance in court where they were charged by criminal complaints with federal firearms violations. Aguilar, 26, of Las Cruces, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Serena, 29, of Las Cruces, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Both men will remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for this week.

According to the complaints, on Jan. 30, Las Cruces Police Officers responded to a report of a gunshot victim at an apartment in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Upon arrival, officers located a deceased victim. The victim’s neighbor told officers that they went to the victim’s apartment after hearing sounds of an argument followed by a loud bang because they knew the victim has previous arguments and altercations with Aguilar. The neighbor stated that Aguilar opened the door holding a black 12-guage shotgun and asked the neighbor to call the police because the victim had shot herself. The neighbor saw Serena sitting on a couch in the apartment’s living room. The neighbor returned to their apartment to dial 911 and later witnessed Aguilar and Serena fleeing the scene.

Following the interview, Las Cruces Police Officers apprehended Aguilar and Serena. When questioned, both Serena and Aguilar admitted to handling the shotgun.

In 2016, Aguilar was convicted of Armed Robbery and Attempted Armed Robbery. In 2013, Serena was convicted of Possession of an Unregistered Firearm. As previously convicted felons, neither Aguilar nor Serena can legally possess firearms or ammunition.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Aguilar and Serena face up to 15 years in prison.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case with assistance from the Las Cruces Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Maria Y. Armijo is prosecuting the case.

Anyone experiencing domestic violence or who knows someone experiencing domestic violence can reach an advocate at the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). In New Mexico, the Domestic Violence Resource Center is available by telephone at (505) 843-9123 or online at

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Updated February 14, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-25