A Rocky Ford man facing first-degree murder charges made his first appearance at the Otero County Courthouse Wednesday morning before 16th Judicial District Judge Michael Schifferl.

A Rocky Ford man facing first-degree murder charges made his first appearance at the Otero County Courthouse Wednesday morning before 16th Judicial District Judge Michael Schifferl.

Edward Lawrence Aragon, 33, was arrested July 24 in connection with the death of Amanda M. Ybarra Velasquez, 23, who was found with multiple stab wounds at a home she shared with Aragon in the 600 block of south Eighth Street.

Aragon, who faces additional charges unrelated to the death of Ybarra Velasquez, faces first degree murder charges and a possible death penalty sentence if proven guilty of the offense.

Aragon's lawyer, Raymond J. Torrez, noted several requests for consideration by the court in anticipation of a prolonged stay in Otero County Jail by Aragon, including a protection order prohibiting law enforcement from discussing any details related to accusations against Aragon. "We don't want the result of any conversations initiated by law enforcement to be turned around and used against Mr. Aragon," said Torrez, who expressed his primary concern being the District Attorney's Office refusal to eliminate the possibility of a death penalty sentence. "At this point, all aspects of Mr. Aragon's life are relevant until the prosecution takes the death penalty out of consideration."

While noting that law enforcement has no control over Aragon's right to speak about the offense to them or any other persons, Schifferl ruled that law enforcement refrain from contacting Aragon concerning any aspect of his life related to all charges.

Furthermore, Torrez requested that no evidence, including notes used for the purpose of writing police reports, evidence, emails, and texts messages be destroyed saying, "They should let us decide what is relevant." The court agreed, and asked that the court limit the district attorney's pretrial publicity related to local media concerning the case. While not objecting to Torrez's request, Otero County District Attorney James Bullock asked that a pretrial publicity report be presented for review by the court for acceptance within five days, which Schifferl ruled.

Aragon will return to court Sept. 24, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. for a bond hearing. Currently being held on a $1 million bond, Bullock moved to have Aragon's bond terminated while Torrez requested that the bond amount remain $1 million. Schifferl will make a ruling on that day.

Following the hearing, Aragon will return to the Otero County Courthouse Oct. 6 for a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m.