Joel Ray has pleaded no contest to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the Oct. 30, 2021, killing of Spencer Komadina, the son of former state Sen. Steve Komadina.
Ray originally faced a charge of first-degree murder of the 46-year-old.
A prior Observer article said that a fight between the Corrales roommates led to the shooting. A friend who had dropped Ray, then age 60, off at his home received a call from Ray asking him to pick up his dog because he’d killed his roommate and planned to commit suicide.
Ray told his friend that something had happened to his dog when he got home and people were in his room and eating his food. Ray then said that Komadina pushed him in the face, and Ray responded by shooting his roommate.
The friend talked Ray out of killing himself and called the police. When officers from the Corrales Police Department arrived, Ray told an officer, “I’m having a bad day; I shot my roommate.” He complied with police instruction and was arrested on the original first-degree murder charge.
Documents from the 13th Judicial Court District dated Feb. 16 show that Ray pleaded no contest to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter “as a result of sufficient provocation, and knew that his acts created a strong possibility of death or great bodily harm.”
The charge is listed as a third-degree felony. Ray has been sentenced with six years, three of which will be served in the New Mexico Department of Corrections. The other three years will be suspended under supervised probation.