Thursday, September 28, 2023

Man Sentenced in Komadina Murder


Corrales resident Joel A. Ray will serve three years in prison for the 2021 shooting death of his roommate, Spencer Komadina, as part of a plea deal agreed to last month.

Thirteenth Judicial District Judge George Eichwald last month accepted the agreement in which Ray serves a conviction for voluntary manslaughter, bringing an end to what was reported then as the first homicide in Corrales in nearly 20 years.

Ray, 61, was originally charged with an open count of murder, a second degree felony that carries a prison sentence of up to nine years.

Instead, Ray pleaded to a third degree felony and a six-year sentence with three years suspended. He also gets credit for 480 days of time served.

Upon his release, Ray will also serve three years probation that will be concurrent with two years of parole. He was also ordered to pay a $180 fine and restitution to Komadina’s family to be determined by probation authorities.

Jessica Martinez, a representative for the court district, said prosecutors avoided a trial out of respect for the family. 

“We really take into consideration what the deceased’s family wants. In this case, they really did not want to go through a trial,” Martinez said. 

She explained that trials are often traumatic for families and that Komadina’s family was satisfied with how the case was resolved.

Spencer Komadina, who was 46 at the time of his death, was the son of Steve Komadina, a physician who served as a state senator from 2001 to 2009.

After the Oct. 30, 2021 killing, the Corrales Comment reported that Steve Komadina posted a message on his Facebook page describing Spencer as “a wonderful and loving father, a loyal brother, and a person with a life full of friends.” He added that Spencer would do anything for his three children, who were his pride and joy.

The Comment previously reported that Komadina was a partner in SWOP, a retail cannabis shop on Corrales Road, and oversaw greenhouses and a nursery on Camino de Corrales del Norte.

Police said at the time their investigation wasn’t connected to this business affairs.

According to court documents, Corrales police received a call from a friend of Ray’s, who told them Ray had shot his roomate, did not want to go to prison and was going to commit suicide. 

Ray told police Komadina had “pushed” him in the face after Ray accused him of “giving his food out.” Ray said after Komadina lunged at him, he shot him with a .45-caliber handgun.

Ray had a prior felony conviction that prohibited him from possessing a firearm. 

Court documents indicate Ray’s attorney, Mark Earnest, argued that from the start his client was cooperative with police, remorseful and “emotionally overwhelmed by what he had done.”

“This is not the behavior of someone who had just been involved in an incident where he intended to kill someone.” he wrote in response to the initial charges. 


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