Clovis double murder trial ends with guilty verdict

Anthony Casillas guilty of murder

In Clovis, the man accused of killing two people in Clovis, has been found guilty.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler said that on Monday a jury found Anthony Casillas, 23, guilty on two-counts of First Degree Murder, one-count of Tampering with Evidence, and of one-count of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.

The trial, which started last Monday, concluded this Monday.

The jury deliberated approximately two hours before coming back with a verdict of guilty on all counts.

This is the second trial for Casillas back in January a mistrial was declared after his uncle collapsed on the witness stand and two other members of his family caused a disturbance.

Back in September of 2008, Clovis police responded to a report of a van that crashed into a cinderblock wall. At the scene, officers discovered two gunshot victims inside the van. The driver, Gary Payne, 52, and his passenger Melissa Ward, 36, were both pronounced dead within hours of the crash.

A week after the murders Casillas was taken into custody by Roswell police.

Casillas will be sentenced in the next 90 days, he will face incarceration of up to 65 years in the New Mexico State Penitentiary.