Josh Arnold – Charged With Murder, Aggravated Battery, More – Not Guilty
Josh grew up in a rural area between Moriarty and Estancia, New Mexico. While in middle school, he was ridiculed and bullied by classmates because of his long blond hair. He was attacked, and was once even stuffed into a dumpster. After it became clear school officials could not stop this bullying, his parents moved him out of the Moriarty school system and he went to high school in Estancia. When he was 19, he began flirting with one of the girls who had been involved in the bullying in younger years, they texted each other, but it never went any further. She asked the boyfriend Josh was unaware of to get Josh to leave her alone, distorting and embellishing what he had done. The boyfriend started, then escalated a texting battle with Josh, then asked some friends of the original middle school bullies to take care of it for him. One of them had been training as a cage fighter, they anonymously texted Josh to meet them at an abandoned park, and he agreed. He took a .22 rifle to protect himself since he didn’t know who they were or how many of them would come. The threatening texts continued until they arrived at the unlighted park late at night. Two of them jumped out of the car and immediately ran toward Josh. One was wearing a ski mask from the Saw movies so he couldn’t be identified, and the other raced fast. Josh shot a warning shot, then when they kept coming, lowered the rifle and killed the first one and seriously and permanently injured the one in the Saw mask. Josh Arnold was charged with murder and aggravated battery among other charges. Ray Twohig obtained his release from custody to live with his grandparents on electronic monitoring while the case was pending. Maurice Moya investigated the case and Ray Twohig defended Mr. Arnold. Eda Gordon assisted with the jury selection process. The self defense case was presented with the aid of expert testimony about Josh’s mental state at that time. The jury found him not guilty of the most serious charges for each shooting, and the prosecutor later entered dismissals with prejudice on all of the remaining charges.