AG Balderas Announces Teen Who Murdered 83-Year-Old Woman in Home Invasion will Stay Locked Up


Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

Rivas stabbed victim to death in her own bed and then asked his friends to help dispose of the body

Hobbs, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the Supreme Court agreed with the Office of the Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division by upholding Juan Rivas’ convictions of firstdegree murder, aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. On July 29, 2011 the 15-year-old Rivas broke into 83-year-old Clara Alvarez’s home and stabbed her to death in her own bed. The brutal murder involved both a stick from Alvarez’s backyard and a knife from her kitchen. For two days, Juan Rivas attempted to dispose of the body and stole her car, jewelry and money.

“It is important that when a teen commits a heinous act like this, that they receive an appropriate adult sentence,” Attorney General Balderas said. “I hope that the family of Clara Alvarez and the Lea County community have some closure knowing that Mr. Rivas will never harm anyone else in the community again. I’m thankful for the work of the district attorney and local law enforcement in securing the convictions for this heinous crime.”

Given the severity of the crime, Juan Rivas was charged as a serious youthful offender, authorizing an adult sentence. Rivas was convicted by a jury in December of 2012. This month, the Supreme Court denied his appeal and affirmed his convictions.

Please see attached for a photo of Juan Rivas and the Supreme Court Opinion.

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