Man convicted of killing stepfather with hammer receives sentence

LAS CRUCES – A man accused of killing his stepfather with a hammer in 2020 received a lengthy prison sentence last week.

A jury convicted Alejandro Nevarez, 31, of second-degree murder on Jan. 23 before 3rd Judicial District Judge Douglas Driggers sentenced Nevarez to 16 years in prison and two years of parole on March 9.

Nevarez has been in jail since his arrest in 2020. He will receive time served, meaning he still has about 13 and a half years remaining before he might be released.

According to an affidavit, police believe Nevarez and his stepfather, 56-year-old John Padilla, were arguing on Nov. 20, 2020, when Nevarez attacked him with a hammer. Police said Nevarez left the area, leaving his mother to call 911.

Padilla was taken to an EL Paso hospital. Around the same time, police arrested and charged Nevarez with attempted murder. Padilla then succumbed to his injuries leading prosecutors to increase the charges.

A judge ordered Nevarez to remain in jail after his arrest. The judge found Nevarez dangerous and said no conditions of release could ensure the public’s safety. One factor that played a role in that decision included more than a dozen pending charges, including aggravated burglary and aggravated battery, at the time of his arrest.

Nevarez also picked up charges while in jail.

In October 2022, a jury convicted Nevarez of stealing a Game and Fish truck and masquerading as a Game and Fish agent. At the outset of the hearing, Nevarez attacked and hospitalized a Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputy in Driggers’ courtroom.

Courtroom security cameras captured the altercation. The Sun-News also obtained the footage in a public records request.

Nevarez was charged with aggravated battery against a peace officer in that incident. That case is ongoing.

Justin Garcia covers crime, courts, public safety and local government in Las Cruces. He can be reached via email at, via phone or text at 575-541-5449, or on Twitter @Just516Garc.

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This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Man convicted of killing stepfather with hammer receives sentence