By BRANDON MESSICK

Daily Press Staff Writer

Matthew Sloan, 30, of Carlsbad, was found guilty Saturday afternoon of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon. His conviction came after nearly five hours of deliberation by the jury.

Sloan’s conviction came after a week of expert testimony from DNA technicians, weapons experts and police officers who allegedly found conclusive evidence that placed Sloan as the triggerman in the 2012 death of Artesia resident Timothy Wallace.

Donald “Duck” Ybarra, an accomplice in the invasion of Wallace’s home that led to the victim’s death, gave testimony for the state Friday as part of a plea deal that would guarantee Ybarra a sentence of no more than 14 years behind bars.

Ybarra said that he, Sloan and fellow accomplice Senovio “Hoss” Mendoza had spent much of the day before the fatal incident getting high on methamphetamines before taking Sloan’s truck to Artesia, where the events surrounding Wallace’s death unfolded.

“They wouldn’t have acted in the manner that they had if they hadn’t been high,” said defense attorney Jesse R. Cosby.

The prosecution responded that imbibing methamphetamines had, in fact, made the trio more alert, focused and aware of the nature of the crime they had allegedly committed.

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