LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A Dona Ana County Sheriff’s reserve deputy has been cleared in shooting death of a woman last year.

County officials say the Third Judicial District Attorney’s office is declining to prosecute Sergio Gotbeter, who’s had been placed on administrative leave since the Oct. 31 incident.

The 47-year-old Gotbeter has been with the sheriff’s department since 2014.

Authorities say Gotbeter shot the 37-year-old woman after she reportedly armed herself with a wood-splitting maul following an attempt to barricade herself inside a storage building.

The woman was asked numerous times to drop the weapon and get on the ground, but didn’t comply and got within five feet of the reserve deputy before he fired two shots.

It was determined Gotbeter acted in accordance with the law and no criminal intent was evident.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.