By Peggy Mackenzie
After four hours of deliberation, a Taos, NM, jury found a Hinton man guilty of first degree murder and of tampering with evidence.
Ivan Dennings Cales Jr., 51, was sentenced to life in prison on May 12. He was also given a three-year sentence attached to his life sentence for tampering with evidence. The verdict was announced in the Eighth Judicial District by Judge Sarah Backus in Taos, NM.
The deceased, Roxanne Houston, 33, a Colorado native, disappeared in July 2014 after moving to New Mexico. Her body was found in a shallow grave by a hiker near the “Two Peaks area” in December of that same year. According to a local news agency, police later identified the body as Houston’s and launched an investigation.
Prior to her 2014 disappearance in New Mexico, Houston’s life was reportedly complicated and unstable. According to her estranged ex-husband George Houston, Roxy, as she was called, was bi-polar and had been off medication for quite some time. She has four children, who all live with adoptive parents, and was frequently moving between relationships.
Houston reportedly left Colorado in 2013 with a boyfriend, and arrived in Carson, NM. The couple camped for some time and, eventually, moved into a home with several other male housemates, where Cales had taken up residence. She lived at that location until her death.