LAS CRUCES, NM – On Sunday, police arrested Joel Arciniega-Saenz, 25, after finding a man's body lying on Madrid Avenue, next to Apodaca Park. His severed head was found several yards away.
The victim has been identified as 51-year-old James Garcia. In addition to being beheaded, several deep stab wounds were found on his torso, and one of his middle fingers was missing.
Officers found Arciniega-Saenz inside the park, where he apparently lives. He was covered in blood, and a bloody knife was found near him. He claimed that Garcia had raped his wife four years earlier, but could not remember his alleged wife's name.
Arciniega-Saenz alleged that he took a switchblade knife from Garcia and stabbed him several times before decapitating him. He then dragged Garcia’s body into the street and “then played soccer with his head.” He said he kicked the victim’s head at 14 different cars.
The illegal alien has a lengthy criminal record.
Among many other arrests, in 2017, he was charged with the shooting death of a 21-year-old man at a Las Cruces motel, but the case was later dismissed. Most recently, he was arrested on vandalism charges, and despite his illegal status, was released on $2,000 bail.
Arciniega-Saenz has been charged with first-degree murder and is currently being held at the Dona Ana County Jail without bond.