FARMINGTON — A man was charged with first-degree murder in Demetrius Garrett's death, nine months after he was shot in the chest.

Raul Avalos, 26, was charged with murder last week.

Avalos was arrested March 18 and charged with attempted murder and 16 other felonies, including assault, aggravated battery, child abuse and battery on a peace officer.

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office said Avalos shot Garrett twice at the end of an all-night St. Patrick's Day party in March. Garrett was sitting on a couch next to his sister when he was shot in the chest and his heart was damaged, according to court documents.

He survived the shot initially but never fully recovered.

Garrett's sister, Chantara, was shot in the leg at the party. A bullet grazed another man's wallet and he was uninjured, according to court documents.

At least seven people, including a 13-year-old girl, witnessed the shooting and identified Avalos as the shooter, according to court documents.

The witnesses didn't tell investigators there was any motive for the shooting, other than that Garrett and Avalos exchanged “looks” prior to the shooting, according to  court documents.

A document filed in September said Garrett had to be readmitted into the hospital because of heart problems and that he was suffering from severe psychological problems.

Garrett, of Aztec, died on Nov.


3, two days after his 20th birthday. He had a son and daughter and his parents were Bobbie Jean Carter and Gary Floyd White.

He was at a party at the Vargas home at 603 Taos Ave. when he was shot. The home has a long history with the sheriff's office, who respond to the house more than once a month on average, according to sheriff's office statistics.