New Mexico high court will take `Warrior Gene’ arguments under advisement

Anthony Yepez listens to testimony during his 2015 murder trial.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the murder conviction of a man whose public defender argued a “warrior gene” predisposed him to impulsive violence — making him incapable of forming the intent to kill his victim.

Anthony Blas Yepez was convicted of second-degree murder in 2015 for the 2012 beating death of 75-year-old George Ortiz of Santa Fe.

Yepez, then 26, and his girlfriend, Jeannie Ann Sandoval, then 30, had recently returned from California, where they met, and had been staying with Ortiz in his apartment in a senior housing complex on Luisa Street. The violence that led to Ortiz’s death began when Ortiz struck Sandoval in the face, according to testimony she gave during Yepez’s trial.

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