Pair accused in separate Albuquerque homicides, months apart
Both face murder charge in the Oct. 22 death of 19-year-old Isaac Torres
The SWAT team arrested two men accused in separate homicides over the past year around Albuquerque.
Casper Rickords, 22, and Melvin Robinson, 33, are each charged with an open count of murder, conspiracy and tampering with evidence in the Oct. 22 death of 19-year-old Isaac Torres.
Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, said the two are also suspected of shooting a man Monday who was then fatally run over by a car.
He said the pair were caught on video shooting the man, who has not been identified, but they have not been charged in that case.
Rickords and Robinson were arrested Monday night by the SWAT team at an extended stay motel in Northeast Albuquerque and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center. It is unclear if either man has an attorney.
Robinson has been arrested a handful of times over the past few years on auto theft, battery upon a peace officer, drug and gun charges. He is awaiting trial in a February 2022 case in which Rio Rancho police allegedly found him with fentanyl pills and a gun that had been stolen in Albuquerque.
Months later, Torres was found dead.
An online obituary described Torres as “full of life” and “loved by so many.” “His smile and laugh could light up a room,” according to the obituary. “... Isaac loved being outdoors on his skateboard, discovering the town. He found joy in animals, plants, and nature.”
On Oct. 22, police were called around 11:40 p.m. to gunfire outside the Alvarado Transportation Center, near Gold and First, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. Torres was found shot to death in the breezeway of the center and 9mm casings were found close by.
Police said surveillance video showed two men on a moped meet Torres and one of them points a gun at him. Torres tried to grab the gun before the second man shot him twice and both men left on the moped.
Police put out a “be on the lookout” for the shooter, a white man, and the second suspect, a Black man, as well as the moped, according to the complaint. Tips came in about the suspects — that they possibly sold fentanyl and lived out of motels — but nothing concrete.
Then, on Monday, police responded to a homicide near the Ambassador Inn at Candelaria and Interstate 25. Officers found a man who had been shot and then crawled into the street hours later, where a vehicle accidentally ran him over.
Police said surveillance video showed one man — later identified as Robinson — hit the man with a pole, according to the complaint. Then, according to police, Robinson and another man — later identified as Rickords — both shoot the man.
Police said after their arrest, Rickords told them Torres asked to buy pot off them and then asked to buy Robinson’s gun. Rickords reportedly said Torres then grabbed Robinson’s gun and Robinson shot him.
Robinson told police a similar story except that he only pushed Torres after he grabbed the gun and Rickords shot him twice, according to the complaint. Robinson said he asked Rickords “why he did that” before rummaging through Torres’ belongings to take back the pot they sold him.