Man claimed he played soccer at park with head of his decapitated murder victim, authorities say

Source: MEGA; Las Cruces Police Department

Jun. 24 2021, Published 2:52 p.m. ET

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A man in New Mexico allegedly decapitated another man on Father’s Day and then claimed he played soccer with the victim’s head.

According to Las Cruces police, in the brutal June 20 attack, Joel Arciniega-Saenz, 25, stabbed 51-year-old James Garcia and cut off his head before kicking it into over a dozen vehicles at Apodaca Park, El Paso's KFOX-TV reported.

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Police arrested Arciniega-Saenz the following day and charged him with first-degree murder after he allegedly confessed to the crime.

The murder suspect allegedly told authorities he went after Garcia because years ago the victim had raped his wife and robbed him — claims authorities were reportedly unable to corroborate.

Arciniega-Saenz is being held without bond at the Doña Ana County Detention Facility, online records show.

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This isn’t the first time Arciniega-Saenz has been accused of murder. In 2017, he was charged with shooting to death Benjamin Montoya,but the charges were dropped after investigators discovered one of the case’s key witnesses owned a gun the same caliber as the murder weapon, Fox News reported.

“I prayed he wouldn’t do it again and ruin someone else’s family,” Krystal Montoya, the 2017 victim’s sister, told the outlet. “I just was very angry because they let a monster out.”

“I don’t want this guy to be released again and go do something stupid and go hurt another family again,” she said. “No matter how much I hurt for my brother, I can say that I hurt for this person’s family. He needs to be put away, period.”


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