• Tavor Tom stabbed or slashed aunt Roberta Clyde at least 75 times
• Tom pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November
• Judge William Johnson has total discretion to sentence him from no time to life imprisonment
District Judge William Johnson tentatively set the virtual sentencing hearing via a notice entered on Jan. 27. Assuming the case is not continued, it will be conducted over the video conferencing platform Zoom.
At 10 a.m., July 2, 2019, Clyde was found dead in her house by her father. Sometime during that same morning, Tavor Tom was found in her Jeep Cherokee, after he crashed into a fence in front of a church in Nenahnezad. Navajo Nation police officers found a bloody knife in the car, FBI Agent Cary Cahoon wrote in an affidavit for an arrest warrant.
During an interrogation, Tom told FBI agents he killed Clyde with a folding knife he took from his father’s vehicle. He intended to go to her house to steal her car so he could drive it to Farmington to steal Mucinex. After he stole it from the store, he drove on the back roads toward Shiprock and he crashed the vehicle into the fence. He was found in it the next morning, Cahoon wrote.
Pathologist Ross Zumwalt wrote in the autopsy report that Clyde suffered a total of 75 separate “sharp force injuries,” meaning stab wounds and incised, or slashing, wounds.
“Two of the stab wounds of the back of the head penetrated the skull resulting in bleeding around the brain,” Zumwalt wrote.
Clyde also has four stab wounds in her chest and one in her abdomen, which penetrated her stomach. She also has cutting wounds on her hands, which Zumwalt classified as probable defensive wounds.
“Death was a result of the blood loss caused by the multiple wounds,” Zumwalt wrote.
Joshua Gutierrez, 21, of To’Hajiilee, allegedly shot and killed Llewyn Platero, 36, on March 29, 2020, at a house on the To’Hajiilee reservation. Although he claimed the man “assaulted him,” the one eye witness did not make the same assertion, according to court documents.
When Gutierrez spoke to investigators, he alleged he was attacked by Llewyn Platero, 36, he wrote. Platero is not identified in court records and referred to as Doe or John Doe.
Witness JL, at the casino, told investigators that he was at an acquaintance’s house when Platero and another man, identified as MK, started arguing, then fighting. JL and Gutierrez went to school together, Robinson wrote.
“Doe and MK tussled for a few minutes before CP (year of birth 1987) ordered the group to leave the residence,” Robinson wrote. “CP is the current girlfriend of GUTIERREZ.”
Platero and MK stopped briefly, then started “tussling” and being loud again, before Platero and JL headed toward the front door, he wrote.
“JL indicated that as they approached the kitchen GUTIERREZ raised a handgun up, in his right hand, and fired one shot into the chest of DOE,” Robinson wrote. “JL made no mention of an assault or attempted assault by Doe towards GUTIERREZ. While attempting to provide aid to DOE, JL explained that GUTIERREZ told him and MK to get out of the residence ‘or I’ll shoot you too!’ Gutierrez pointed the firearm at the two as he spoke those words.”
Although Robinson wrote that JL “made no mention of an assault or attempted assault by Doe,” he did not write if JL was asked about an alleged assault.
JL and MK placed pressure on the wound, loaded Platero into a car and drove toward Albuquerque. While on the way, JL called 911 while MK drove, he wrote.
They stopped at the Route 66 Casino, Robinson wrote.
MK, at the casino, told investigators that he started arguing and fighting with Doe while at an acquaintance’s house, then CP, Gutierrez’s girlfriend, ordered them to leave, he wrote.
“MK stated DOE left the room and a few seconds later he heard a pop,” Robinson wrote. “MK exited the room and went to the kitchen of the residence where he saw DOE laying on the floor. MK inquired as to what DOE had done and why GUTIERREZ had to shoot DOE. As MK attempted to provide aid to DOE, GUTIERREZ ordered the group to leave the residence ‘or I’ll shoot you too!’ Gutierrez pointed the firearm at the two as he spoke those words. JL informed MK ‘he’ll do it!'”
Robinson alleged Gutierrez “fled” the house, on foot. He was later found at his own house, 1 1/2 miles away.
Another man, JG, told Robinson that Gutierrez “confided in him that he had shot DOE,” he wrote.
“JG told GUTIERREZ to ‘lay down, the cops will be here,'” Robinson wrote.
After being read his Miranda rights, Gutierrez allegedly told investigators he shot John Doe because he attempted to “assault” him and that the gun he used was at JG’s house. A .380 caliber pistol and one spent cartridge were found at that house.
On March 31, 2020, Gutierrez appeared in Federal District Court for his initial appearance and was ordered held without bail.
According to the autopsy report, Platero died from a single gunshot wound. The bullet went through his heart and lungs, causing a “large amount” of bleeding in the chest cavity.
Pathologists Karen Zeigler, a fellow, and Ross Zumwalt, the medical investigator, wrote in the report that there was no soot or gunpowder stippling near the wound or on the clothing and that the firing range is “indeterminate.”
The bullet was recovered from the right back.
“The overall trajectory was front to back, left to right and slightly downward,” they wrote.
In a June 24, 2020 unopposed motion for a protective order, federal prosecutor Allison Jaros requested public records, including the autopsy report, be kept secret and be the subject of a strict protective order.
Jaros wrote in the motion that the the agreed-to order would prevent defense attorney Sylvia Baiz from showing the public autopsy report to anyone.
In New Mexico, autopsy reports are public records.
Gutierrez pleaded guilty Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in federal court to voluntary manslaughter and discharging a firearm for fatally shooting another man in an early-morning incident on March 29, 2020, on the reservation. He appeared via Zoom from a Cibola County detention center before Magistrate Judge Paul Briones who accepted Gutierrez’s guilty plea to a criminal information and set sentencing before a District Court judge at an undetermined time.
According to the plea deal, it is binding and Gutierrez will be sentences to 12 years. Final acceptance of the plea was deferred until sentencing by the district court judge, according to the form minutes.
Gutierrez was staying at his girlfriend’s house on March 29 in To’Hajilee when guests of his girlfriend’s father including Platero, identified as “John Doe” in charging documents, and Platero’s brother, identified as “MK” began to scuffle, Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Jaros said.
“My girlfriend entered the room and told them to leave,” Jaros said, reading aloud the facts of the case from Gutierrez’s point of view. “Shortly thereafter I armed myself with a handgun and began walking down the hallway. John Doe exited the room. As we passed each other in the hallway, John Doe swung at me. I shot John Doe in the chest.”
Gutierrez’s plea deal waives any claim of self-defense, Jaros said.
When Briones asked Gutierrez if he felt he had enough time to talk about the case with his public defender, Sylvia A. Baiz, Gutierrez said, “Yeah, somewhat.”
Briones asked Gutierrez several additional questions about Baiz’s representation in which Gutierrez responded positively. With the plea deal, Gutierrez waives any appeal attempts except on the grounds of his representation.
Baiz said Gutierrez reached the plea deal ahead of a grand jury indictment deadline, which she said would have brought additional charges against Gutierrez.
Jaros said Platero’s family listened into the hearing, and would speak at sentencing.
Gutierrez’s next hearing was not scheduled at the conclusion of the plea hearing.
At 10 a.m., July 2, 2019, the Roberta Clyde, 45, was found dead in her house by her father. Sometime during that same morning, Tavor Tom, of Shiprock, was found in the Clyde’s Jeep Cherokee, after he crashed into a fence in front of a church in Nenahnezad. Navajo Nation police officers found a bloody knife in the car, FBI agent Cary Cahoon wrote in an affidavit for an arrest warrant.
FBI agent Kalon Fancher interviewed Tom and advised him he did not have to speak with him, but Cahoon did not write if Fancher told Tom his Miranda rights.
According to Fancher’s interview with Tom, the latter allegedly admitted to killing Clydewith a folding knife he took from his father’s vehicle with the intention of going to her house to steal her car so he could drive it to Farmington to steal Mucinex, Cahoon wrote.
Tom allegedly said he went to the Clyde’s trailer, “slit her throat and then stabbed her seven (7) or (8) times with the knife he took from his father’s vehicle, and then stole her vehicle,” Cahoon wrote.
Tom allegedly said he drove to the Wal-Mart in Farmington, stole Mucinex from the store around 7 p.m. and drove on the back roads toward Shiprock, Cahoon wrote.
He then crashed the vehicle into a fence at a church in Nenahnezad, rendering the vehicle undriveable. He was found in the vehicle the next morning.
Navajo Nation firefighter Derrick Woody told Cahoon that he responded to Tom’s car crash and that Tom allegedly tried to overdose on Mucinex. The drug, as well as vomit, were found in the vehicle, Cahoon wrote.
Navajo Nation Sgt. Francis Yazzie told Cahoon that he also responded to the crash and he found a folding knife with blood on it on the passenger-side floorboard, Cahoon wrote.
Clyde’s father, only identified by the initials R. C., found his daughter, when he went to check on her at the behest of her adult children, who could not reach her on the phone, Cahoon wrote. Clyde is unnamed in federal court documents and referred to as “victim.”
“After R.C. discovered Victim and realized she was deceased, he called 911,” Cahoon wrote.
Cahoon was called by Navajo Nation detective Jerrick Curley that there had been a killing in Shiprock, in the exterior boundaries of the reservation, he wrote.
Curley told Cahoon that he found Clyde lying on her bedroom floor with multiple cuts and blood around her. He also told Cahoon that Clyde’s nephew, Tom, had been in a car crash near Nenahnezad. The car he crashed allegedly belonged to Clyde and inside the vehicle police found a knife with blood on it.
Clyde’s father, Tom’s grandfather, told Cahoon that Tom had come to his house, next door to the victim’s, at 6 p.m., July 1, 2019, to use his computer, and then left.
Tom’s mother, who was Clyde’s sister and is only identified by the initials “M.T.,” told Cahoon that Tom lived with her at her house in Shiprock, which was in “close proximity” to Clyde’s house, a single-wide trailer. Tom got around on a red ATV, parked next to R.C.’s house.
“M.T. received a text message from TOM the previous night (07/01/2019) and indicated he was with his friends,” Cahoon wrote. “M.T. went to visit Victim at her residence the previous evening (07/01/2019), at approximately 6:30 p.m., when M.T. arrived and saw that Victim’s vehicle was gone, she assumed Victim left in her vehicle to go somewhere.”
She said her son had been addicted to Mucinex for several years and uses it to get high.
“TOM also had been suicidal in the past and has become more violent recently,” he wrote.
M.T. alleged her son often takes her car without permission and drives it to stores where he can steal Mucinex. She also acknowledged that Tom was found in the Clyde’s vehicle, he wrote.
“M.T. believed TOM was the one who killed Victim,” Cahoon wrote. “R.C. and M.T. both advised that Tom often went by and visited Victim at her house and that they got along with one another.”
The crime scene
In the afternoon of July 2, 2019, officers searched the interior and exterior of Clyde’s trailer, although Cahoon did not write whom he obtained consent from, since Clyde was dead.
During the search, officers found the key to Tom’s red ATV on a couch in the living room. A cell phone was found on a different couch in the living room and there were drops of blood in the kitchen, laundry room and bedroom.
“Additionally, the medicine cabinet door was open in the kitchen and it appeared that someone had rummaged through the prescriptions and over-the-counter medications,” Cahoon wrote.
The field investigator with the Office of the Medical Investigator found Clyde had “trauma” and cuts to her neck, back and chest.
Tom pleaded guilty, Nov. 24, 2020, to second-degree murder in front of federal Magistrate Judge Kirtan Khalsa during a virtual hearing that lasted just over 30 minutes. Khalsa deferred final acceptance of the plea deal until sentencing by a district court judge.
Prosecutors will agree that Tom accepted responsibility for his conduct and grant that, under the sentencing guidelines, he is entitled to a reduction of two levels from the base offense. Spindle and Tom’s defense attorney, James Loonam, can argue whatever they want when it comes to the sentence.
In the plea agreement, Tom wrote that he stabbed his aunt repeatedly with a knife, “intentionally and without justification.”
When interrogated by FBI agents, he said he stabbed her repeatedly and slit her throat, according to court documents.
According to the federal sentencing table, with little or no criminal history, that puts Tom’s proposed sentence, sans any increases or decreases, at 16 to 20 years. At a base offense level of 38, the level without the consideration of his guilty plea, the range increases to 20 to 24 years.
Based on a search of federal and state court records, Tom does not appear to have any prior state or federal arrests. His tribal criminal records are unknown.
His final sentence will be up to the sentencing judge.
On March 28, 2014, Daniel Boscon, 46, Bernalillo Police Officer Jeff McGinnis arrested Daniel Boscon for being disorderly. Despite his pleas for medical attention for dizziness and the laceration on his head, he was brought to the Sandoval County Detention Center where he died 30 minutes after being placed in a cell, according to a lawsuit.
Boscon’s estate was represented by Leon Howard, an attorney.
McGinnis handcuffed Boscon and placed him in the back of a police car. During the drive, Boscon “begged” McGinnis to take him to the hospital and said he was dizzy and had a cut on his head, Higgins wrote.
“There was no doubt that Decedent had injured his head–Defendant McGinnis could clearly see that Decedent’s head was bleeding, and had witnessed Decedent bang his head on the partition cage in Defendant McGinnis’ car,” Higgins wrote.
McGinnis tried to remove Boscon from the car without waiting for jail personnel to open the sally port, “contrary to known safety protocols,” she wrote.
Three unnamed Bernalillo Police Department officers then arrived at the jail and helped McGinnis try to pull Boscon out of the car with “significant force,” Higgins wrote.
One unidentified officer tried to remove Boscon by “using all of his body weight” against him and when that didn’t work, another tried to push push him out “using a great amount of force with with his body,” she wrote.
That struggle ended with officers pulling Boscon out of the rear passenger door, “after which Decedent fell face down onto the ground,” she wrote.
As he lay on the ground, multiple Bernalillo officers held him face down and handcuffed for two minutes and shackled his legs.
He was then taken to the booking area where he struggled. McGinnis accompanied him and did not tell jail staff that Boscon had complained about dizziness or that he had injured his head.
In apparent surveillance footage, McGinnis follows Boscon into the shower area after he was led away from booking and during the booking process he can be seen using a cell phone. He refused to hand over documents related to the cell phone, including its number, citing ongoing investigations, Higgins wrote in a motion to compel.
“Decedent again requested that he be given medical attention, this time, also, to SCDC personnel,” Higgins wrote in the complaint.
Jail staff did not give him any medical attention and staff did not conduct an “adequate” screening. He was then “placed in restraints”, booked, and placed in a cell with a window in the door, she wrote.
“Decedent was discovered unconscious by SCDC personnel 30 minutes after he was placed into the cell,” Higgins wrote.
The jail’s policy is to refuse to book anyone who arrives “in the midst of medical emergencies” and if he had told jail staff that Boscon said he had been feeling dizzy and had an injured head, they would have refused to book him, she wrote.
Higgins charged negligence by the police officers an the jail staff, battery by McGinnis and the three unnamed Bernalillo Police officers and failure to train and supervise both the officers and jail staff.
According to an autopsy report written by pathology fellow Linda Szymanski and Pathologist Ross Zumwalt, Boscon died from an overdose of methamphetamine. Hypertensive and arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease were significant contributing conditions. The manner of death was an accident.
The autopsy showed one-vessel severe coronary artery disease and evidence of chronic myocardial ischemia, which is the death of heart tissue due to a lack of oxygen.
He had minor scrapes and bruises on his face and legs and blood in his chest, although this was put down to likely results of CPR.
The concentrations of methamphetamine in Boscon’s blood were “high.”
According to the toxicology report, he had an amphetamine level of 99 ng/ml and 2500 methamphetamine ng/ml in his blood, although no comparison is given for those quantities.
According to a lawsuit filed by the Human Rights Defense Center, the Sandoval County jail’s print out for “NMAC Law Enforcement cases closed” in October 2017 reported the county “paid $256,581.54 to the estate of Daniel Boscon for a “[w]rongful death claim while in jail.”