For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares — (505) 321-4372
ALBUQUERQUE— Today, New Mexco Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that Castulo Michael Aragon was convicted by a jury for the first-degree murder of his wife, Maria Elena Aragon, as well as three counts of tampering with evidence in connection with her murder. Judge Jared Kallunki sentenced Aragon to life in prison plus nine years. Aragon will serve nine years in prison for the tampering charges, and then he must serve a minimum of 30 years before he is eligible for parole. In sentencing Aragon to the maximum sentence allowed by law, Judge Kallunki described the crime as a “painful, dehumanizing, and brutal” murder of an “angel”.
“Maria Elena Aragon’s spirit will live on, and we stand with her family in delivering justice and the harshest penalties under the law,” said Attorney General Balderas.
“Maria Aragon’s death is an unthinkable tragedy. My heart goes out to her family, her friends and the many others who knew and loved her,” said District Attorney Dianna Luce. “I am grateful for the partnership with the Attorney General’s Office that worked tirelessly to seek a just result in this horrendous case.”
In March 2017, Aragon murdered his wife, who was a deaf and hearing specialist with the Roswell Independent School District for many years, and dumped her body off the side of a road southeast of Vaughn. Maria Aragon was 49 years old at the time of her death.
Prosecutors from the Special Prosecutions Division of the Office of the Attorney General, Jonathan Gardner and Ashley Schweitzer, and Assistant District Attorney John Roehlk with the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.