Victim says defendant a stranger before shooting

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AZTEC – Judge John Dean agreed to delay sentencing Thursday for Charmaine Lucero, who pleaded no contest earlier this month to attempted first-degree murder in a Bloomfield shooting in February 2015.

But the judge warned Lucero, 26, he was ready to order the maximum sentence — 10 years and six months in prison — unless she convinced him otherwise.

"Guns are a huge issue in this country," he said. "I believe in the Second Amendment, but guns need to be used responsibly."

Lucero was arrested Feb. 9, 2015, on allegations she shot Cameron Burton in the face during a dispute in the parking lot at the Farmers Market grocery store, 401 W. Broadway Ave. in Bloomfield.

Burton, 27, told the judge at Thursday's sentencing hearing he did not know Lucero before the shooting.

"What she did was a choice," he said. "I had a little girl, my daughter, in the car."

Burton said he was shot once in the cheek. Fortunately, the bullet missed his jaw and his ear drum, according to Burton.

"I heard the shot, I heard the round, and that was it," he said.

Bloomfield police detective Caleb Coate told Dean the gun used in the shooting was never recovered.

"It may still be on the street," he said.

District public defender Matthew Cockman requested the sentencing delay so that he could file a memorandum with the court detailing Lucero's "fairly storied life." He said the defense would have argued at trial that Burton and his wife were "mad-dogging" Lucero in the store and that "spilled out into the parking lot."

Lucero told the judge she shot Burton because she feared for her life.

"I'm sorry, but it was self-defense," she said. "I was protecting myself."

A new sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

An alleged accomplice in the shooting, Teresa Vance, is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, shooting from a motor vehicle, false imprisonment and aiding a felon. She is scheduled to appear at trial on May 26.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644. 

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