New Mexico Man Killed Woman Who Witnessed Robbery While Playing Pokémon Go

Izaiah Andres Garcia and Cayla Campos
Izaiah Andres Garcia and Cayla Campos Twitter

A New Mexico man was convicted this week for murdering a young woman while she was playing Pokémon Go with her boyfriend.

As reported by Law & Crime, On Thursday, Izaiah Andres Garcia, 23, was found guilty on all counts against him over the 2019 incident that culminated in the death of 21-year-old Cayla Campos.

Jurors in a state district court convicted Garcia of murder in the first degree, depraved mind murder, shooting at a motor vehicle, armed robbery, assault with intent to commit a violent felony, tampering with evidence, child abuse, and conspiracy

Garcia Shot at Campos' Car After He Believed the Driver to be a Rival Gang Member

Just before midnight on Oct. 18, 2019, Campos and her boyfriend were playing Pokemon Go at Bianchetti Park in the northeastern part of Albuquerque. The late-night gaming near Campos' apartment was part of their daily routine. But while searching for new digital monsters to add to their collections, they stumbled upon a robbery.

Witnessing an armed robbery in progress where three teenagers were being held up by two others at gunpoint, the couple quickly turned their car around and fled the area. But as Campos drove away, Garcia took note. Believing the driver to be a despised rival criminal, the killer took aim with a rifle and fired. Campos was shot once in the head and lost control of her car, crashing into a nearby home.

"He killed Cayla Campos intentionally, but he did so thinking it was somebody else," Assistant Attorney General John Duran, the lead prosecutor in the case, said during closing arguments, according to a courtroom report by the Albuquerque Journal.

Garcia Already Serving Life Sentence for Killing a Teen Weeks Before Campos

Garcia is already a state prison inmate. He lives in the Lea County Correctional Center where he is serving a life sentence for the murder of 17-year-old Sean Markey, a Sandia High School student who was shot and killed while waiting for a ride home from a homecoming party in 2019. Markey was killed just weeks before Campos was murdered. Garcia was convicted of the first murder in August 2021.

In both killings, Garcia attempted to kill a person other than the actual victim, prosecutors say, the Journal reports. Second Judicial District Judge Joseph Montano oversaw the trial against Garcia. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

The convicted killer faces a sentence of up to life in prison for his murder convictions plus an additional sentence of 23 years behind bars for his lesser crimes, according to the attorney general's office. Prosecutors plan to ask the court to enter the defendant's sentences consecutively — one after another.