Two arrested by NMSP in homicide investigation

New Mexico

NMSP / Facebook

Fort Sumner, N.M. — New Mexico State Police report that Casey Cortese, age 31, and Arron Harden, age 38, were arrested in connection with a homicide investigation.

NMSP said on Feb. 8, 2021 the NMSP Investigation Bureau was contacted to investigate the death of a man pronounced dead at Plain Regional Medical Center in Clovis.

State Police said during an investigation agents learned in the early morning hours of Feb. 5 Cortese and Harden went to Gutierrez’s house in Fort Sumner.

Harden and Cortese confronted Gutierrez for allegedly stealing methamphetamine from a friend. Harden and Cortese took Gutierrez to the residence of their friend whom he allegedly stole methamphetamine from. There, Cortese attacked Gutierrez, beating him with a handgun. Harden grabbed a hose and began striking Gutierrez. As Gutierrez defended himself, he took Harden to the ground. Harden got up, armed himself with a hammer, and continued to beat Gutierrez.

Gutierrez who was severely beat, made it back to his house. He admitted himself to a local hospital in Santa Rosa. on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. He was treated for his injuries and released.

On Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 Gutierrez’s mother noticed his speech was slurred and skin color was pale. She contacted emergency medical personnel. Gutierrez was taken to Plain Regional Hospital in Clovis where he later died from his injuries.

An arrest warrant was issued for Cortese and Harden on Feb. 17, 2021.  Cortese and Harden were arrested and taken into custody without incident and booked into the De Baca County Detention Center. Cortese and Harden were charged with the following:

  • Murder in the 2nd Degree
  • Kidnapping
  • Conspiracy to commit Kidnapping
  • Assault with intent to commit a violent felony

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