THE MURDERER(S) OF
Near midnight on May 4, 2000, 46
year old Sam Lott, a Vietnam veteran was shot in his home in
Tierra Amarillo, New Mexico as a result of a drive-by shooting.
The assailants apparently started a fire in a new home that Lott
was building on his property about a mile east of U.S. 84 on U.S.
64 as a ruse to lure him from the temporary living quarters where
he was staying during the construction. Investigators suspect that
revenge may be a factor in the crime. Lott had been involved in a
violent confrontation two days earlier with Luis Pena, of La
Madera, New Mexico and Jaime Cruz, also of La Madera. Both men are
in their early 40s. The confrontation erupted over the duo’s
apparent running over of one of Lott’s dog’s on highway U.S.
64. Lott chased down the duo and words were exchanged culminating
in Lott hitting Pena with a baseball bat and breaking his arm.
Other incidents may also be a factor.
The evening of Lott’s shooting,
a woman staying at Lott’s residence stated that about 3 hours
earlier that evening a well-spoken man, with blondish, grey hair
in an early 1970s tan or yellow colored Ford truck pulled into
Lott’s property. He said he was looking for someone named
"Louie". Lott sent him on his way informing him that no
one by that name lived there. A bit later that evening Lott and
his guest noticed the taillights of a truck parked down near the
road near the intersection of U.S. 84 and 64. Shortly before
midnight, Lott discovered the fire on his property and went out to
put it out with a fire extinguisher. As Lott was inside the
structure attempting to put out the fire, shots were fired at
his home one of which struck him in the head.
Rio Arriba County sheriff’s
detectives obtained a search warrant to seize the truck of Antonio
"Ike" DeVargas, a land-use planner with Rio Arriba
County as well as a logger and a political activist. De Vargas is
a friend of Pena and owns a truck, which matches the
characteristics of the truck seen in the area of Lott’s home.
The detectives wanted to check DeVargas’ tires on the truck to
see if they matched tracks found on Lott’s property. However,
DeVargas changed the tires just prior to the execution of the
If you or anyone you know has
information about this murder we urge you to help. If you have
information leading to the arrest and conviction of Sam Lott's
MURDERERS, you will receive up to a $1000.00 REWARD from
Please contact Detectives Johnny
or Joe Vigil at (505) 753-3329 email us
with any information related to
this case no matter how seemingly insignificant.
Any information about this murder, as insignificant as it seems, may be important!
Please click here
to see a memorial page for Sam Lott.