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Man convicted in double murder after vodka-and-beer-fueled argument over bad haircut

Eva Aragon, left, and Mark Valencia (Aragon photo from her obituary; Valencia's mugshot from San Miguel Detention Center)

Eva Aragon, left, and Mark Valencia (Aragon’s photo from her obituary; Valencia’s mugshot from San Miguel Detention Center)

A 42-year-old man was convicted of a double murder in the shooting of his girlfriend and his barber after a vodka-and-beer-fueled argument over a bad haircut at his friend’s house in New Mexico.

Mark Valencia was convicted on Wednesday in the murders of 40-year-old Steven Singer and 48-year-old Eva Aragon. He was also convicted of attempted murder for trying to kill his friend, homeowner David Sturgeon, who managed to escape being hit by a bullet that tore through a closet door where he hid and called 911 as Valencia tried to get in.

He later recounted the terror to officers about that night on Dec. 11, 2021, when New Mexico State Police responded to the home at 1 Camino Don Luis in Pecos, outside Santa Fe, for a report of shots fired, authorities said in a news release.

“Mark said he was going to get his gun… He then returned to the front door of the home, which was open and shot Steven at least one time in the face,” Sturgeon told police, NBC Albuquerque affiliate KOB reported.

When Aragon went to her knees to check on Singer, “Mark stood over Ava and stated, ‘is that what you want b—-?’ and shot Eva at least one time in the head,” the outlet reported Sturgeon told investigators. “David stated Mark was no more than two feet away from Steve and Eva when he shot them. David Estimated Mar shot at least 8 times.

Valencia then shot at Sturgeon as he stood in the kitchen near the laundry room but missed. Then Valencia went, allowing enough time for Sturgeon to get to the master bedroom closet. While hiding in the closet, he called 911.

Sturgeon said Valencia returned to the house and tried to open the closet door while Sturgeon held it closed, and then Valencia shot through the closet door, the victim in fear for his life, thinking Valencia was going to kill him.

When police arrived, they found Valencia drunk and bloody in the driver’s seat of Sturgeon’s van in the driveway, the affidavit said.

Valencia told police they all had been drinking that night. He fought with Singer because “Steven only cut half his hair,” the document said.

As the night went on, Singer and Valencia “continued to verbally provoke each other,” the affidavit said.

At one point, Valencia said he was afraid for his life “because of Steven’s size compared to his” and got his gun from his car, according to the affidavit.

“He thought about leaving but returned to the front door armed with his gun,” the affidavit said. “Mark stated he intended to shoot Steven, ‘but Eva got in the way.'”

When investigators asked Valencia why he didn’t just go home when he went to his car, he replied, “I thought about it. I probably could have,” Albuquerque’s KRQE reported.

Valencia’s defense attorney did not immediately return an email Saturday seeking comment, but Albuquerque’s KRQE reported his main defense was the alcohol inhibited him from being able to make a deliberate choice to commit the murders, KRQE reported.

He’s being held at the San Miguel Detention Center, online booking records show. A date for his sentencing was not indicated in online court records Saturday.

Aragon’s obituary said she was a loving mother, grandmother, daughter, and sister, “so full of life.” She enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, camping, and “making people laugh.”

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