FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2015
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Carlsbad, NM – Today, the Office of Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that Fifth Judicial District Judge Lisa B. Riley sentenced Dallas Hnulik to 12 years incarceration, suspending 4 years of the total possible sentence, for the murder of Brandy Capps, age 32, who was found dead in her vehicle in Artesia five years ago. The Office of the Attorney General prosecuted the case and a Carlsbad jury found Hnulik guilty of second degree murder in July of this year.
“My office will continue to work with local law enforcement across New Mexico to prevent and prosecute violent crime in order to make New Mexico safer for all our families,” said Attorney General Balderas. “It is my sincere hope that this sentence will bring some closure to the Capps family and the community.”
In July of 2015, Hnulik was convicted after the jury deliberated for only two hours and was facing 16 years of incarceration for murdering Ms. Capps, who suffered a gunshot wound to the face at a range of approximately four inches.
Fifth Judicial District Judge Lisa B. Riley allowed instructions for second degree murder and both theories of manslaughter, along with a firearm enhancement. The jury was informed, based on testimony of firearms experts Lucien Haag and Steve Guerra, that the gun was discharged due to an intentional trigger pull, before returning the second degree murder verdict. The experts testified that Hnulik’s firearm was in working order and had to have been cocked and the trigger pulled for the gun to discharge in this case.
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