Timothy Trejo-Vigil, 25, and his 22-year-old fiancée initially told police that she was violently attacked and robbed by two men while at his home Thursday.
But Trejo-Vigil was the only one arrested Friday, and he now faces a long list of violent charges including attempted murder after police say he beat the woman with a heavy metal pipe until she was 'near-unrecorgnizable.' The beating ultimately caused her to miscarry.
"The victim in this case was defending her abuser," Officer Dan Trujillo, a Las Cruces Police Department spokesman, told KVIA. "Unless we have facts like we have in this case, it's pretty hard to charge."
According to court documents obtained by the station, Trejo-Vigil admitted to the brutal beating after police found no evidence of forced entry at his home in east central Las Cruces, which was, however, filled with cat feces. He told them he started drinking after the couple got into an argument and woke up to find his fiancée beaten, bruised, bleeding, bitten and stabbed in multiple places with a large gash on her head.
She suffered a broken jaw, a broken nose and several stab wounds to her knees and arms, as well.
Trejo-Vigil remained in the Doña Ana County Detention Center on Tuesday facing charges of attempted murder, two counts each of aggravated battery of a household member with great bodily harm, two counts of aggravated battery of a household member with a deadly weapon, injury to a pregnant woman, battery against a household member and cruelty to animals, according to jail records. He was also cited for two outstanding warrants for failure to appear, related to previous charges.
The cruelty to animals charge came as a result of police finding a cat locked in a small pet carrier in a closet of the home, soaked in urine and without access to food or water.
Trejo-Vigil shares the home on Lester Avenue with his mother, who claims she did not hear or know anything about the beating, according to a news release on the Las Cruces Police Department Facebook page. Trujillo told McClatchy that charges against the victim were unlikely, but additional charges for Trejo-Vigil were possible.
According to the Las Cruces Sun News, the story of being attacked by intruders was concocted by the fiancée and Trejo-Vigil, but police knew of Trejo-Vigil's history of domestic abuse against the same woman.
The woman was taken to nearby Memorial Medical Center before being airlifted to University Medical Center of El Paso. It was there, in the El Paso intensive care unit, that doctors told her she had experienced a still-birth as a result of the physical trauma associated with the beating.
Trejo-Vigil is being held without bond. He made his initial court appearance Monday.