Man set to plea in Nenahnezad beating death

• A change of plea hearing is set for Nov. 3, 2020
John Lodgepole was initially charged with murder for kicking a woman in the head, killing her, before he was indicted on a charge of voluntary manslaughter

See the case write-up here or past stories on this case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 21-year-old Fruitland man, accused of kicking a woman in the head and killing her in Nenahnezad, is set to plead on Nov. 3, 2020.

John Lodgepole‘s case is set for a change of plea hearing at 10 a.m., Nov. 3, 2020, according to a court docket.

Lodgepole was first arrested, and charged with murder, on Aug. 1, 2019, the night he allegedly kicked a woman in the head repeatedly, killing her. His case remained sealed, despite his arrest, until 15 days after a grand jury indicted him on a charge of voluntary manslaughter on Oct. 9, 2019.

A view from the Indian Service Route 36 near Nenahnezad. Photo by Gene Selkov/Flickr.

The indictment alleged he killed the woman “upon a sudden quarrel and heat of passion, and therefore without malice, unlawfully.” She is only identified by the initials M.W. and her year of birth, 1975. She is identified as a Navajo Nation member.

The change of plea hearing will be conducted through Zoom and in front of Federal Magistrate Judge Steven Yarbrough.

Lodgepole has previously pleaded no contest in a state case to two counts of battery on a healthcare worker, where he was to receive a conditional discharge after finishing probation. After he was arrested and charged with murder, he admitted to a probation violation and was sentenced to 319 days in prison, according to state court documents.

The incident

San Juan County Sheriff’s deputies responded on Aug. 1, 2019, to a house south of the Chapter House in Nenahnezad, after the owner called 911, Federal Bureau of Investigations Agent Jordan Spaeth wrote in an affidavit for a criminal complaint.

The homeowner, identified by her initials of E.L., told deputies she was drinking with the victim, M.W., when Lodgepole threw M.W. to the ground and started kicking her in the head, he wrote.

When investigators spoke to E.L., she said Lodgepole arrived at the house earlier that night and was verbally abusive toward her and M.W. As the night went on, he threw M.W. to the ground and kicked her in the head, he wrote.

“Lodgepole then fled the residence and E.L. contacted 911,” Spaeth wrote. “Deputies were notified a short time after arrival that Jane Doe was pronounced dead at the scene by Emergency Medical Personnel.”

Deputies found Lodgepole in the parking lot of the chapter house. He was covered in blood. They detained him and Navajo Police officers arrested him when they arrived on scene, he wrote.

Outside the house, investigators found a bloody metal baseball bat and shoe prints near where M.W.’s body was found and resembled the soles of Lodgepole’s shoes, he wrote.

The field investigator with the Office of the Medical Investigator found three wounds to M.W.’s head, including one that likely fractured her skull, he wrote.

Spaeth charged Lodgepole with murder.

Continue reading “Man set to plea in Nenahnezad beating death”

Joshua Gutierrez pleads to voluntary manslaughter for To’Hajiilee shooting

  • Joshua Gutierrez  pleaded guilty ahead of a grand jury indictment
  • The plea sets his sentence at 12 years, but final acceptance is at the discretion of the sentencing judge
  • He pleaded guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and discharging a firearm

See past stories or the case write-up

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A To’Hajiilee man 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.

Joshua Gutierrez, 21, 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.

Federal agents charged Gutierrez with murder in the death of Llewyn Platero, 36, on March 30, and Gutierrez has been in detention since.

The Route 66 Casino. Photo by Ken Lund/Flickr. CC-BY-SA

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. Jaros signed the plea deal.

“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 pointed the firearm at MK and another witness, JL, telling them, “I’ll shoot you too!” according to MK, FBI agent Dibiassi Robinson’s affidavit for a criminal complaint alleged. JL allegedly told MK “he’ll do it!”

MK and JL drove Platero toward Albuquerque, dialing 911 and stopping at the Route 66 Casino, according to Robinson.

Gutierrez “fled” the house on foot, Robinson wrote, and was found at his own home 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.

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.

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Wheeler Cowperthwaite contributed to this report.

Continue reading “Joshua Gutierrez pleads to voluntary manslaughter for To’Hajiilee shooting”

Judge rules Trudy Martinez has no right to in-person pre-sentence interview

  • Judge William Johnson wrote Trudy Martinez has no right to an in-person interview with the probation officers preparing her pre-sentence report
  • Martinez pleaded guilty in March 2020 to voluntary manslaughter and a firearm enhancement
  • Alonzo Padilla’s motion does not appear in court records and he did not respond to questions about the possible improper sealing of his motion

See the case write-up

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Trudy Martinez, 29, of Twin Lakes, has no right to an in-person interview with the federal probation officers tasked with preparing a pre-sentence report and determining the range of her suggested sentence, a federal district court judge ruled.

Trudy Martinez

Martinez pleaded guilty on March 16, 2020, to voluntary manslaughter and a firearms enhancement for shooting her sister-in-law Cornelia McCabe with an AR-15 on April 26, 2019. She faces a sentence of 10 to 15 years.

In an Aug. 18, 2020 order, District Judge William Johnson wrote he would grant Alonzo Padilla‘s motion to continue sentencing the case, but only because there was good cause and not because he agreed with Padilla’s position that Martinez was entitled to an in-person interview. He continued sentencing until Nov. 30, 2020.

“To be clear, Defendant is not entitled to an in-person interview with Probation for the purposes of completing her PSR,” Johnson wrote. “In fact, the Court finds her insistence on an in-person interview to be unreasonable, especially when she cites no legal authority which would require an in person interview, or even that an interview is required at all.”

Padilla filed a motion on July 21, 2020, and in it said that he wanted a 90-day continuance “in order for an in-person presentence interview to be conducted given ‘the serious nature of this case,'” according to a response in opposition filed on July 23, 2020, by prosecutor Thomas Aliberti.

Padilla’s motion was numbered 36 and does not appear in the court docket. It also does not appear that Padilla filed a motion, or for permission to seal his motion to continue the case. Padilla, a public defender, did not return a request for information about his motion.

Writing in New Mexico In Depth, Jeff Proctor illuminated a pattern and practice by prosecutors and public defenders to improperly seal documents in federal criminal cases, contrary to local and federal rules on sealing procedures.

“Judges, not lawyers, are supposed to decide which documents are made available to the public and which should remain secret through an established protocol based in part on decades of case law: Attorneys must submit a written request asking a judge to seal records and a judge must consent before records are sealed,” Proctor wrote.

At the heart of Padilla’s request, which may be sealed in violation of court rules, is the demand that she be interviewed in person by probation. In-person interviews are problematic because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to court filings.

“The Court has no way of determining how long the pandemic and the corresponding ban on in-person visits at the Santa Fe Detention Center will last, or when an in-person interview can be safely conducted in the foreseeable future.” Johnson wrote.

Probation officers are “routinely” interviewing people in other criminal cases, leading Johnson to be at a “total loss to understand how Defendant is prejudiced if she’s interviewed by Probation with her
counsel participating utilizing videoconferencing or telephonic equipment.”

Johnson wrote he was admonishing Padilla that he will not grant further continuances solely because she wants an in-person interview.

“The PSR will be completed, with or without Defendant’s cooperation,” Johnson wrote. “The Court will consider Defendant’s ability to participate waived if she refuses to cooperate unless the interview is conducted in-person.”

Johnson wrote that Padilla also asked for more time to interview members of Martinez’s family, on the Navajo Nation, who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Sentencing is currently set for 9:30 a.m., Nov. 30 in the Cimarron courtroom in Albuquerque and will likely be available via video conference.

According to the plea deal, Martinez intentionally killed McCabe during a sudden quarrel and therefore, without malice.

One of McCabe’s children told investigators she witnessed her mother’s killing and that Martinez first pushed her mother before going back to her truck to retrieve an AR-15 carbine, which she then loaded in the house, FBI Agent Jeffrey Wright wrote in an affidavit for an arrest warrant. McCabe is referred to as “Jane Doe” in his affidavit.

“DOE attempted to take the rifle away from Martinez,” Wright wrote. “As DOE approached MARTINEZ at the entrance to the Hogan, MARTINEZ pointed the rifle at DOE and fired the weapon two times. The first round missed DOE, but the second round struck DOE in the abdomen, after which DOE fell to the floor.”

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Continue reading “Judge rules Trudy Martinez has no right to in-person pre-sentence interview”

Woman pleads guilty in 2019 Twin Lakes killing

  • Trudy Martinez pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and a firearm enhancement
  • Martinez shot her sister-in-law, Cornelia McCabe, in the abdomen in Twin Lakes, in front of at least one of the woman’s children
  • She faces a minimum sentence of 10 years and a max of 15 years
  • Sentencing is tentatively set for Aug. 24, 2020

See the case write-up

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Twin Lakes woman pleaded guilty, March 16, 2020, to voluntary manslaughter and a firearm enhancement for shooting and killing her sister-in-law with an AR-15 in April 2019.

mug of Trudy Martinez
Trudy Martinez

Trudy Martinez, 29, of Twin Lakes, will spend at least 10 years in prison for killing Cornelia McCabe, 36, her sister-in-law. She is identified in court documents as C.M.

Martinez pleaded guilty in front of federal Magistrate Judge Paul Briones who deferred acceptance of the plea to the district judge sentencing her in the case, according to the minutes.

When she was first arrested, Federal Bureau of Investigations agents charged her with an open count of murder.

Federal prosecutor Thomas Aliberti signed the plea deal and filed the criminal information charging her with voluntary manslaughter and the firearm enhancement. Voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 15 years while the firearm enhancement carries a minimum 10-year sentence.

According to the plea deal, Martinez intentionally killed McCabe during a sudden quarrel and therefore, without malice.

One of McCabe’s children told investigators she witnessed her mother’s killing and that Martinez first pushed her mother before going back to her truck to retrieve an AR-15 carbine, which she then loaded in the house, FBI Agent Jeffrey Wright wrote in an affidavit for an arrest warrant. McCabe is referred to as “Jane Doe” in his affidavit.

“DOE attempted to take the rifle away from Martinez,” Wright wrote. “As DOE approached MARTINEZ at the entrance to the Hogan, MARTINEZ pointed the rifle at DOE and fired the weapon two times. The first round missed DOE, but the second round struck DOE in the abdomen, after which DOE fell to the floor.”

Sentencing is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 24, 2020, at 10 a.m. in the Cimarron Courtroom in Albuquerque in front of District Court Judge William Johnson. It was moved to August after Martinez’s attorney, Irma Rivas, filed an unopposed motion to push out the sentencing date because Martinez wants her pretrial interview to be in person but the coronavirus pandemic has eliminated in-person visits at the Santa Fe County Detention Center, where she is being housed.

Continue reading “Woman pleads guilty in 2019 Twin Lakes killing”

Trial in Nenahnezad beating death postponed for third time

  • FBI agents originally charged John Lodgepole with murder for allegedly killing a woman by repeatedly kicking her in the head on Aug. 1, 2019
  • Despite being arrested, his case was sealed until a day before he was arraigned on an indictment for voluntary manslaughter
  • His case has been postponed three times already

See the case write-up or read more stories about this case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — John Lodgepole‘s trial on a charge of voluntary manslaughter for the alleged Aug. 1, 2019 beating death of a woman in Nenahnezad has been tentatively set for June 1, 2020.

A view from the Indian Service Route 36 near Nenahnezad. Photo by Gene Selkov/Flickr.

Lodgepole was first arrested, and charged with murder, on Aug. 1, 2019, the night he allegedly kicked a woman in the head repeatedly, killing her.

A federal grand jury indicted Lodgepole, 20, on a charge of voluntary manslaughter on Oct. 9, 2019, alleging “upon a sudden quarrel and heat of passion, and therefore without malice, unlawfully” killed a woman only identified by the initials M.W. (YOB: 1975).

Since he was arraigned on Oct. 28 by Magistrate Judge Kirtan Khalsa, his case has been continued three times at the request of his defense attorney, Melissa Morris. He pleaded not guilty during that hearing and waived a detention hearing.

A trial is tentatively set for June 1, 2020, per a court order to continue on March 10, 2020, but in her motion to continue the case, Morris wrote she has not begun plea negotiations with prosecutor Raquel Ruiz-Velez.

The incident

San Juan County Sheriff’s deputies responded on Aug. 1, 2019, to a house south of the Chapter House in Nenahnezad, after the owner called 911, Federal Bureau of Investigations Agent Jordan Spaeth wrote in an affidavit for a criminal complaint.

The homeowner, identified by her initials of E.L., told deputies she was drinking with the victim, M.W., when Lodgepole threw M.W. to the ground and started kicking her in the head, he wrote.

When investigators spoke to E.L., she said Lodgepole arrived at the house earlier that night and was verbally abusive toward her and M.W. As the night went on, he threw M.W. to the ground and kicked her in the head.

Continue reading “Trial in Nenahnezad beating death postponed for third time”

Joshua Gutierrez: Llewyn Platero — 3-29-2020

Suspect: Joshua Gutierrez

Victim: Llewyn Platero, 36

Charges: Murder

Date of incident: March 29, 2020

Status: Guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter, discharging a firearm in the course of the crime.

Sentence: 12 years per the plea agreement, final acceptance to be made by the sentencing judge

Investigating Agency: FBI

Location: To’Hajiilee, Bernalillo County

Federal magistrate case number: 20-mj-01001

Federal district case number: 20-cr-01867

Prosecuting agency: U.S. Attorney’s Office

Prosecutor: Allison Jaros

Defense attorney: Sylvia Baiz

Plea judge: Magistrate Judge Paul Briones

Other judge: Magistrate Judge Kirtan Khalsa

Sentencing judge: To be determined

 

Summary

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.

On Oct. 15, 2020, he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. The plea deal sets his sentence at 12 years. Sentencing has not been set.

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The incident

Photo of mesas
To’Hajiilee by Joel/Flickr. CC BY-NC

Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Dibiassi Robinson was called out to the Route 66 Casino at 5:29 a.m., March 29, 2020, for a possible homicide, although a Navajo Nation criminal investigator told him the alleged killing took place on the To’Hajiilee reservation.

Robinson wrote in an affidavit for a criminal complaint that he spoke to two witnesses at the casino.

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.

The autopsy

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.

Secret records

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.

Judge Kirtan Khalsa granted the protective order, despite the fact that autopsy reports are public records.

Plea

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.

Federal agents charged Gutierrez with murder in the death of Llewyn Platero, 36, on March 30, and Gutierrez has been in detention since.

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.

See the case documents on Google Drive or Document Cloud

Andrew Martinez contributed to this report

See past stories on this case

Joshua Gutierrez pleads to voluntary manslaughter for To’Hajiilee shooting

Joshua Gutierrez of To’Hajiilee charged with murder for allegedly shooting unidentified Native American man on March 29, 2020

Cuba man receives 4-year sentence for beating roommate to death with a baseball bat

  • Kimsey Barboan beat his roommate with a baseball bat and left him to die
  • The plea deal set his sentence at 4 years and he must serve 85 percent
  • Barboan already served 1.5 years while awaiting trial

See the full case summary

BERNALILLO, N.M. — A 35-year-old Cuba man received a four-year sentence, June 17, 2019, for beating to death his roommate with a baseball bat in 2017.

Kimsey Barboan

Kimsey Barboan pleaded guilty in Bernalillo District Court to charges of voluntary manslaughter, unlawful taking of a vehicle and DWI third offense.

According to court documents, Barboan beat Anthony Martinez, 61, of Cuba on Dec. 16, 2017, and left him for dead in their home, where he was discovered two days later by a friend who was looking for work.

District Court Judge Louis McDonald accepted the plea deal, signed by prosecutor Amy Lopez Dooling, which set Barboan’s sentence at four years followed by three-and-a-half years of supervised probation. McDonald sentenced Barboan the same day, according to the provisions of the plea deal.

Because of the time he already spent in custody (1.5 years), he only has to serve just over two years in prison.

According to the plea, Barboan’s killing of Martinez was done as “a result of sufficient provocation.” Court documents do not state what Martinez did to sufficiently provoke Barboan.

Continue reading “Cuba man receives 4-year sentence for beating roommate to death with a baseball bat”

John Lodgepole: M.W., YOB 1975 — 8-1-2019

Suspect: John Lodgepole

Victim: M.W., female, YOB 1975, Navajo Nation tribal member

Charges: Voluntary manslaughter

Date of incident: Aug. 1, 2019

Type of incident: Beating

Status: Pending

Investigating Agency: FBI

Location: Nenahnezad, San Juan county, Navajo Nation, NM

Federal district case number: 19-cr-03599

Federal magistrate case number: 19-mj-02388

Plea judge: Magistrate Judge Steven Yarbrough

Sentencing judge: Undetermined

Prosecutor: Raquel Ruiz-Velez

 

Summary

On Aug. 1, 2019, John Lodgepole allegedly went to the house of a woman he knew in Nenahnezad, near Fruitland, and became verbally abusive toward her and another woman. Later that night he allegedly came back, threw the victim, M.W. (YOB: 1975) to the ground and kicked her in the head multiple times. Investigators found a bloody bat near the scene, according to an affidavit for a criminal complaint.

San Juan County Sheriff’s deputies found Lodgepole in the parking lot of a chapter house across the street from the house, covered in blood. He was initially charged with murder, according to the complaint. The case was sealed, despite Lodgepole’s arrest, according to the court docket.

On Oct. 9, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Lodgepole on a charge of voluntary manslaughter and he was arraigned on Oct. 25. The case was unsealed a day earlier.

The case was continued three times — on Oct. 30, 2019; Jan. 13, 2020 and March 10, 2020. It is still pending, according to the docket.

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The incident

San Juan County Sheriff’s deputies responded on Aug. 1, 2019, to a house south of the Chapter House in Nenahnezad, after the owner called 911, Federal Bureau of Investigations Agent Jordan Spaeth wrote in an affidavit for a criminal complaint.

A view from the Indian Service Route 36 near Nenahnezad. Photo by Gene Selkov/Flickr.

The homeowner, identified by her initials of E.L., told deputies she was drinking with the victim, identified in court documents as M.W. (YOB: 1975) or Jane Doe, when John Lodgepole threw M.W. to the ground and started kicking her in the head, he wrote.

“Lodgepole then fled the residence and E.L. contacted 911,” Spaeth wrote. “Deputies were notified a short time after arrival that Jane Doe was pronounced dead at the scene by Emergency Medical Personnel.”

Deputies found Lodgepole in the parking lot of the chapter house. He was covered in blood, he wrote.

Deputies detained him and Navajo Police officers arrested him when they arrived on scene, he wrote.

When investigators spoke to E.L., she said Lodgepole arrived at the house earlier that night and was verbally abusive toward her and M.W. As the night went on, he threw M.W. to the ground and kicked her in the head.

Outside the house, investigators found a bloody metal baseball bat and shoe prints near where M.W.’s body was found and resembled the soles of Lodgepole’s shoes.

The field investigator with the Office of the Medical Investigator found three wounds to M.W.’s head, including one that likely fractured her skull.

Spaeth charged Lodgepole with murder.

Indictment

Although Lodgepole was arrested on Aug. 1, the court docket does not show that he was ever arraigned or assigned a lawyer until two months later, when prosecutors indicted him, on Oct. 9.

The complaint for his arrest, and the entire case, appears to have been sealed until Oct. 24, 2019, the day before he was arraigned on the indicted charge of voluntary manslaughter, a downgrade from murder.

On Oct. 25, 2019, in Albuquerque, federal Magistrate Judge Paul Briones ordered Lodgepole held without bail and on Oct. 28, Magistrate Judge Kirtan Khalsa arraigned him. Lodgepole pleaded not guilty and his lawyer, Melissa Morris, waived a detention hearing.

Nothing in the court record indicates why Lodgepole would have been arrested, and held without bail, without being arraigned or assigned an attorney, or why the case would have been sealed, even though he was arrested.

Court delays

Since the arraignment, Lodgepole’s case has been continued three times. Once on Oct. 30, 2019, once on Jan. 13, 2020 and once on March 10, 2020.

According to Morris’ third motion for a continuance, filed March 6, plea negotiations have not begun in the case. It is still pending.

According to the docket, a call of the calendar is set for May 21, 2020.

Plea hearing

His case is set for a change of plea hearing at 10 a.m., Nov. 3, 2020, in front of Magistrate Judge Steven Yarbrough, according to a court docket.

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See the case documents on Google Drive or Document Cloud

Past stories

Man set to plea in Nenahnezad beating death

Trial in Nenahnezad beating death postponed for third time

Trudy Martinez: Cornelia McCabe — 4-26-2019

Suspect: Trudy Martinez

Victim: Cornelia McCabe, 36

Charges: Open count of murder pleaded down to voluntary manslaughter

Status: Guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter with a firearm enhancement

Date of incident: April 26, 2019

Investigative agencies: Federal Bureau of Investigations

Location: Twin Lakes, McKinley County, Navajo Nation

Relationship to victim: Sister-in-law

Federal Magistrate case number: 19-mj-01109

Federal District case number: 20-cr-00972

Prosecutor: Thomas Aliberti

Prosecuting agency: U.S. Attorney’s Office

Defense attorney: Alonzo Padilla

 

Summary

On April 26, 2019, Trudy Martinez fatally shot her sister-in-law, Cornelia McCabe, 36, in the abdomen with an AR-15 before fleeing with her children, according to court documents. On May 9, FBI agents arrested her in Gallup on a murder warrant.

On March 16, 2020, Martinez pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and a firearms enhancement. There is no agreement as to the sentence. Sentencing is tentatively set for Aug. 24, 2020 in Albuquerque.

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The shooting

On April 26, 2019, Trudy Martinez, 28, of Twin Lakes, allegedly shot her sister-in-law, identified in court documents as McCabe, 36, once in the abdomen with an AR-15 assault-style rifle in her Twin Lakes home, Federal Bureau of Investigations Agent Jeffrey Wright wrote in an affidavit for an arrest warrant dated April 30.

mug shot of Trudy Martinez
Trudy Martinez

Investigators talked to McCabe’s daughter who told them she came home from school and saw Martinez outside the house, cleaning up the yard, before she went into the house, Wright wrote.

“She was upset and complained that no one was helping her clean,” Wright wrote. “DOE was inside watching over her children. C.M. observed MARTINEZ enter the home and push Doe. The two began to have a physical altercation. Martinez yelled at DOE and DOE’s children to leave the house.”

McCabe saw Martinez walk outside and get the carbine from a truck parked nearby. Martinez allegedly brought it into the house and loaded it, he wrote.

“DOE attempted to take the rifle away from Martinez,” Wright wrote. “As DOE approached MARTINEZ at the entrance to the Hogan, MARTINEZ pointed the rifle at DOE and fired the weapon two times. The first round missed DOE, but the second round struck DOE in the abdomen, after which DOE fell to the floor.”

Martinez allegedly pointed the gun at the girl and yelled something at her. She ran next door to her grandmother’s house and the girl’s aunt, referred to as E.T., went back to the house with her to take care of McCabe, he wrote.

In her own interview, E.T. told investigators that she was at her house making jewelry with her husband. Sometime during the evening, one of the children ran to her and said that “Trudy shot my mom,” he wrote.

“The children explained that their mother (DOE) was laying on the floor in her house,” Wright wrote. “E.T. did not hear a gunshot, but noted that music was playing while she worked on the jewelry.”

When she went to the neighboring house, McCabe was sitting against a bed, awake and talking, he wrote.

“DOE stated ‘Trudy shot me,'” he wrote. “DOE than said that she needed to go to the hospital.”

Near Twin Lakes, NM on U.S. Highway 491. Photo by Steve Lyon/Flickr. CC BY-SA

E.T. told investigators that Martinez was in the attached home, shouting “What the fuck are you looking at?!” Wright wrote.

“She then stated to E.T., ‘she was beating me up,'” he wrote. “MARTINEZ explained to E.T. the altercation originated with the trash.”

E.T. then told other family members to get the truck, which they drove to McCabe’s house. They loaded her into it and drove to the gas station in Tolikai to meet the ambulance, he wrote.

“E.T. noted that approximately two weeks prior to the shooting, MARTINEZ was outside her home shooting a gun,” Wright wrote.

McCabe’s daughter also told the investigators the carbine used was the same kind that police officers were carrying at the crime scene and that Martinez would shoot the rifle at the back of the house.

That same day, investigators spoke to G.M., identified as Martinez’s brother. He told them Martinez called him after the shooting.

“MARTINEZ told G.M. that she had ‘done something wrong,'” Wright wrote. “G.M. asked MARTINEZ what was it that she had done. MARTINEZ responded that she had ‘shot Corn.’ ‘Corn’ is a nickname used by DOE.”

Martinez’s niece, K.M., said she had previously talked to Martinez about the AR-15 and that she had posted a photo of herself holding it on Facebook.

Fugitive

While Wright only applied for arrest warrant on April 30, 2019, the following day, the FBI offered a $1,000 reward for information on Martinez’s whereabouts.

FBI spokesman Frank Fisher wrote that Martinez fled from the scene of the killing with her children, a 10-year-old girl, a 9-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy.

“She should be considered armed and dangerous,” Fisher wrote.

FBI agents arrested her in Gallup on May 9, 2019, according to a press release.

Court proceedings

Arraignment and detention

On May 14, she was ordered held without bail by federal Magistrate Judge Steven Yarbrough and she waived a preliminary hearing.

Martinez waived a preliminary hearing and grand jury presentment seven times, the last on Feb. 21, 2020.

Plea

On March 16, 2020, Martinez pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging her with voluntary manslaughter along with a firearms enhancement.

Mug shot of Trudy Martinez from the Santa Fe County Detention Center
Trudy Martinez

Voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 15 years while the firearms enhancement carries a minimum sentence of 10 years.

Federal prosecutor Thomas Aliberti signed the plea deal and and it was accepted by federal Magistrate Judge Paul Briones, although final acceptance was deferred until sentencing by a district court judge, according to the minutes.

According to the plea deal, Martinez intentionally killed McCabe during a sudden quarrel and therefore, without malice.

Martinez’s sentence is at the discretion of the sentencing judge but prosecutors agreed she is entitled to multiple reductions in the sentencing guidelines because she accepted responsibility.

Both prosecutors and Martinez’s defense attorney can argue for whatever sentence they want, according to the plea.

Pending sentencing

Sentencing was set for Aug. 24, 2020, at 10 a.m. in the Cimarron Courtroom in Albuquerque in front of District Court Judge William Johnson.

On April 13, 2020, Martinez’s attorney, Irma Rivas, filed an unopposed motion to push out the sentencing date because Martinez wants her pretrial interview to be in person but the coronavirus pandemic has eliminated in-person visits at the Santa Fe County Detention Center, where she is being housed.

On July 21, her new attorney, Alonzo Padilla, appears to have filed a motion under seal to push out her sentencing until probation officers could interview her in person.

District Judge William Johnson admonished Padilla and wrote that Martinez has no right to an in-person interview and set sentencing in the case for 9:30 a.m., Nov. 30, 2020.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story referred to victim Cornelia McCabe as C.M., the initials used in court documents, because her name was not available when the story first published.

See the case documents on Google Drive or Document Cloud

Christopher Pino sentenced to 3 1/2 years following voluntary manslaughter plea

The summary of the case

Christopher Pino

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In June 2018, Christopher Pino pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter with a sentence capped at six years.

In August 2018, District Court Judge Cristina Jaramillo sentenced Pino to 3 1/2 years, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

According to police reports, Pino ran down homeless man Daniel Arballo, whom Pino saw with a pair of speakers. He also ran down Arballo’s friend, Billy Harper.

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For more on the case, please see the case summary.

Continue reading “Christopher Pino sentenced to 3 1/2 years following voluntary manslaughter plea”

Kimsey Barboan: Anthony Martinez — 12-16-2017

Suspect: Kimsey Barboan

Victim: Anthony Martinez, 61

Charges: Second-degree murder, unlawful taking of a vehicle, tampering with evidence, DWI, driving on a license revoked for DWI and open container of alcohol in a vehicle

Status: Pleaded down to voluntary manslaughter, unlawful taking of a vehicle and DWI third offense

Sentence: 4 years followed by 3.5 years supervised release, per plea agreement; credit for 1.5 years time served

Date of incident: Dec. 16, 2017

Investigating Agency: State Police

Location: 334 County Road 13, Cuba, Sandoval County

Magistrate case number: M-45-FR-2017-00919

District case number: D-1329-CR-201800063

 

Summary

On Dec. 16, 2017, Kimsey Barboan, 33, beat his roommate, Anthony Martinez, 61, to death with a baseball bat at their Cuba home. He then drove to a gas station in Cuba where he was reported as lying in a truck with a head wound. He was sent to the hospital, and then arrested, for drunk driving and felon in possession of a firearm. Officers found a bloody bat in the truck.

On Dec. 18, 2017, two of Martinez’s friends went to his house on County Road 13 and found he was lying, dead, inside the house. The next day, State Police agents charged Barboan with an open count of murder.

On Feb. 1, 2018, a Sandoval County grand jury indicted Barboan on a series of charges, including second-degree murder.

On June 17, 2019, Barboan pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, unlawful taking of a vehicle and DWI third offense. As part of his plea deal, his sentence was set at 4 years followed by 3.5 years of supervised probation.

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The incident

On Dec. 16, 2017, Kimsey Barboan beat his roommate, Anthony Martinez, 61, to death with a baseball bat.

He was only arrested charged with Martinez’s death three days later, while he was already in custody on charges related to drunk driving and the illegal possession of a firearm, State Police Agent Marcus Lopez wrote in an affidavit for an arrest warrant.

Lopez wrote that he interviewed Barboan, along with Agent Tony DeTavis, on Dec. 18, 2017.

Kimsey Barboan

“Mr. Barboan advised he had been chopping wood at the residence, 334 County Rd 13 (sic),” Lopez wrote. “Mr. Barboan advised he currently lives there with Anthony Martinez.”

Barboan told the agents that at 5 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2017, he went into the house and Martinez “jumped him and struck him with a wooden baseball bat,” Lopez wrote.

“He sustained injuries to the left side of his head and face,” Lopez wrote. “Mr. Barboan advised he got the baseball bat away from Mr. Martinez and began to strike Mr. Martinez with the baseball bat. He advised he did see blood on the facial area of Mr. Martinez.”

He told the detectives there were stolen guns in the house and Martinez used illegal drugs.

“Mr. Barboan stated he left the residence and also started Mr. Martinez was making some type of groaning noises,” Lopez wrote. “He took the baseball bat and broke out the window to the 1985 Blue GMC pickup, the driver’s side door.”

Lopez wrote that State Police Officer Darrell Blackhorse was told by dispatchers to be on the lookout for a 1980s Chevy pickup on the evening of Dec. 16, 2017 and he found it at the Circle K in Cuba.

Officers did not know about the homicide at this point.

Lopez did not write why Blackhorse was told to look for the truck.

Inside the truck, Barboan was lying across the front seat. He had a cut on the left side of his forehead. Blackhorse called for an ambulance and Barboan told him he got the cut because was jumped by “numerous white males,” Lopez wrote.

In the truck, Blackhorse found a bloody baseball bat and a rifle. He left the bat and seized the rifle and called an ambulance for Barboan, who was transported to the hospital. After Barboan was released, Blackhorse charged him for drunk driving, felon in possession of a firearm, driving on a revoked license, open container of alcohol in a vehicle and on two felony arrest warrants, he wrote.

Two days later, at 11:30 a.m., Dec. 18, 2017, two friends of Martinez went to his house. One of them, Coby Aragon, wanted to see if Martinez had any work for him, Lopez wrote.

When he went into the house, he found Martinez on the floor and told his friend, who called 911, he wrote.

Sandoval County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Stand arrived and saw Martinez appeared to have blunt trauma to the head and “there was lots of blood.” Martinez was cold to the touch and had no pulse, Lopez wrote.

Stand noted that it appeared there had been a struggle in the house and there was blood on several walls, he wrote.

Where the kitchen and living room met, there was a dark baseball bat with blood on it. The deputies referred the case to the State Police agents, Lopez wrote.

Lopez and DeTavis then interviewed Barboan while he was being held at the Sandoval County Detention Center, he wrote.

Lopez charged him with an open count of murder and tampering with evidence.

On Feb. 1, 2018, a Sandoval County grand jury indicted Barboan on charges of second-degree murder, unlawful taking of a vehicle, tampering with evidence, DWI, driving on a license revoked for DWI and open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

Below is the affidavit for an arrest warrant by Lopez.

 

12-19-2017 - Affidavit arrest warrant - Kimsey Barboan

 

Plea and sentence

Portrait of District Judge Louis McDonald
Judge Louis McDonald

On June 17, 2019, Kimsey Barboan pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, unlawful taking of a vehicle and DWI third offense.

District Court Judge Louis McDonald accepted the plea, which set Barboan’s sentence at four years followed by three-and-a-half years of supervised probation, according to the judgement and sentence.

The plea was also signed by prosecutor Amy Lopez Dooling.

Barboan received credit for time served of 547 days, or just over a year and a half.

According to the plea deal, Barboan killed Anthony Martinez “as a result of sufficient provocation” but no court documents state what, specifically, Martinez did to sufficiently provoke Barboan.

Below is the plea agreement signed by McDonald, Dooling and Barboan’s attorney, Michael Rosenfield:

 

6-17-2019 - Plea - Kimsey Barboan

 

See all the case documents on Google Drive

Christopher Pino: Daniel “Scooby” Arballo — 4-30-2017

Suspect: Christopher Pino, 52

Victim: Daniel “Scooby” Arballo

Charges: Voluntary manslaughter; originally Open count of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Status: No contest plea to voluntary manslaughter

Sentence: 3 1/2 years

Date of incident: April 30, 2017

Agency: Albuquerque Police Department

Incident Location: Central Avenue and Solano Drive, Albuquerque

Magistrate case number: T-4-FR-2017-002578

District case number: D-202-CR-201701879

 

Summary

Allegedly tired of having his property stolen, Christopher Pino, 52, allegedly ran down homeless man Daniel Arballo and tried to run down his friend, Billy Harper, after he saw the pair with a set of speakers.

He was initially arrested on charged of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

On May 1, 2017, Arballo was pronounced dead and on May 4, an autopsy was conducted. After the autopsy, officers decided to charge Pino with murder.

On May 19, 2017, a grand jury indicted Pino on five charges, including second-degree murder.

In June 2018, Pino pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter with a sentence capped at six years. In August 2018, District Court Judge Cristina Jaramillo sentenced him to 3 1/2 years. He received credit for 197 days served.

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The incident

Mug shot of Christopher Pino
Christopher Pino

On April 30, 2017, officers responded to an alley at Central Avenue and Solano Drive. Daniel Arballo was immediately transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital for extensive injuries, Officer P. Moya wrote in an affidavit for an arrest warrant.

When Officers Israel Martinez and Lea Lopez first arrived, they thought it was a simple crash. While talking to the driver of a red hummer involved, Christopher Pino, Martinez was told that Pino was a suspect and he immediately read him his Miranda rights.

“Pino stated he was contacted by an unknown person who lives in the area,” Moya wrote. “The person stated there were two males taking stuff from his property, which is located at 3715 Silver SE. The building is an old church formally known as The Trinity Methodist Church. Pino decided to go to his property in hopes to stop the inviduals from taking his belongings.”

When he arrived, he saw two men in the alleyway carrying his radio.

“Pino then intentionally struck one of the males at approximately 20 miles per hour and was trying to hit the other male so they could be contacted by police when they arrived,” Moya wrote. “As he was attempting
to confront the other male, a crowd started to gather in the street. It was at this time Pino decided to leave the area.”

Homeless man Billy Harper’s view

Moya interviewed the other man, Billy Harper, who told him he was in the area when he saw his friend, Arballo, cleaning up weeds and branches from the church property.

“Scooby told Billy, ‘this was his people’s church,'” Moya wrote. “It was unclear when Billy decided to help him out but they
started to throw some trash and some branches inside the dumpster. They then obtained some speakers and while
in the process of walking those to the dumpster a red Hummer turned down the alley and accelerated.”

Harper estimated the Hummer to be going at least 40 mph.

“The driver then directed his attention towards Billy and told him, ‘you stealing from my church, you stealing from my church?'” Moya wrote. “He did this while shaking a shovel at him. The male was shaking the shovel at him while threatening to harm him. Billy stated he was only a short distance away, he estimated 15 feet.”

Shortly afterward, Harper alleged Pino left, then came back and threatened him again.

Seven Clover Security Guard Gregory Kreitman’s view

Seven Clover security guard Gregory Kreitman told Moya that he was outside smoking a cigarette when he saw two homeless men in the alley, shaking off jeans and throwing away trash.

Albuquerque, N.M., at Central and Morningside. Photo by Pom’/Flickr. CC BY-SA

“He then saw a red Hummer ‘fly’ down Solano and enter the alley and wreck his vehicle directly into the two males,” Moya wrote. “One was able to jump out of the way but the other was struck with the vehicle and went ‘flying.’ After the collision, the vehicle reversed and went after the other male.”

After the initial crash, Kreitman alleged, Pino started threatening to hit Harper with the car.

“Gregory then stood in front of the male to avoid him from being harmed,” Moya wrote. “The vehicle eventually drove off and turned east on Central and came back around on Silver to Solano. He continued yelling at the male, ‘You’re going to be killed, I’m going to kill you, you stole from me.'”

Pino allegedly stayed a few minutes before he heard sirens, then took off and he said he never saw Pino get out of the vehicle, contrary to Harper’s statement.

“Gregory added the driver kept telling the other male to come out into the road so he can hit him with his car,” Moya wrote.

Seven Clover employee Jamilex Delgado’s statement

Jamilex Delgado, an employee at Seven Clover Dispensary, told Moya she Kreitman dealing with a commotion outside. When he left the building, she saw a man in a hat, later identified as Harper, “freaking out” because it appeared the red Hummer was going to crash into him.

“Delgado recalled seeing the red Hummer enter alley way and possibly hit something,” Moya wrote. “This occurred prior to her any having knowledge of any situation that was transpiring.”

Pino allegedly threatened Harper with what appeared to be a shovel in his back seat, but she was not sure if it was a shovel, a bat or something else.

“Delgado stated the male was ‘raging,'” Moya wrote.

The perimeter

While at the scene, Moya saw a set of speakers in the alley and one was missing a cover. The cover was inside the gated church property.

“Officer Lucero and myself walked the perimeter of the church and could not locate any forced entry or any other type of entry,” Moya wrote. “I did locate some branches inside the dumpster. There was also a green couch cushion as well.”

A “responsible party,” Jacob Welch, allowed them in to make sure there were no signs of forced entry.

“Everything appeared secure and could only locate a window that was not locked,” he wrote. “The window was closed and could not determine whether that could’ve been used as any point of entry.”

Pino’s interview

At the scene, Moya talked to Pino and told him he would interview him at the police station.

“Pino uttered he was contacted by someone who lives in a triplex close by,” Moya wrote. “The person informed him that there were two individuals taking items from the church. I told Pino I will continue to speak with him at the substation so I could advise him of His Constitutional Rights per Miranda.”

At 5:18 p.m., at the Phil Chacon police substation, Moya read Pino his Miranda rights.

“Pino was asking me what he should do. I advised him I could not provide legal advice and that he would have to make the decision or he could contact an attorney,” Moya wrote. “During this time, Pino stated he only wanted to detain them until the police got there. He was tired of dealing with continuous burglaries and other property crimes that have been occurring on the property.”

Moya told Pino that he could not ask him any questions or engage in conversation, and Pino allegedly continued to say that he meant to knock the men down so they would not leave and after knokcing the first one done, he tried to knock down the second.

“He has been dealing with fires being lit inside the property and other nuisances,” Moya wrote. “He just wanted them to get arrested to send a message to others to leave the property alone. Pino stated he had a shovel in the car and wanted to knock the other guy out until the cops got there. It should be noted I did not ask any questions or partake in the conversation. When I engaged in conversation it was merely to provide understanding of his Constitutional Rights.”

Pino allegedly said he did not know what else to do about his property and said he was outside of his vehicle, threatening Harper.

“Pino reiterated he wanted to detain them when he saw them carrying his stereo,” Moya wrote. “Pino stated he didn’t have any intentions of killing or hurting anybody he just wanted them to stop. I eventually terminated the interview due to his indecision to waive his Constitutional Rights. I instructed him to contact an attorney and contact me for an interview if he wanted to.”

He was initially arrested on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Arballo died at 5 p.m., May 1, 2017. On May 4, a pathologist conducted an autopsy and thereafter, officers made the decision to charge Pino with murder.

PC - Christopher Pino - 5-4-2017

 

Indictment, plea and sentence

Portrait of District Judge Cristina Jaramillo
District Judge Cristina Jaramillo

On May 19, 2017, a grand jury indicted Pino on five charges:

  • Second-degree murder
  • Vehicular homicide (reckless driving)
  • Knowingly leaving the scene of an accident causing great bodily harm or death
  • Two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon

On June 5, 2018, Pino pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, which has a maximum sentence of six years, signed by prosecutor David Waymire and accepted by Jaramillo. Waymire dismissed the other charges against Pino.

On Aug. 15 2018, District Court Judge Cristina Jaramillo sentenced him to 3 1/2 years. He received credit for 197 days served.

See the case documents on Google Drive.

Ryan Garcia: Margaret Garcia — 2-16-2010

Suspect: Ryan Garcia

Victim: Margaret Garcia, grandmother

Non-fatal victim: Ralph Garcia, father

Non-fatal victim: Robert Garcia, uncle

Charges: Second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon pleaded down to voluntary manslaughter and one count of aggravated battery

Status: Sentenced; guilty plea to charges of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery

Sentence: 7 years (6-9 range in plea deal)

Date of incident: Feb. 16, 2010

Agency: Las Vegas Police Department

Location: 1100 block of Columbia Street, Las Vegas

Magistrate case number: M-48-FR-201000068

District case number: D-412-CR-2011-225

Relationship: Grandmother

 

Summary

Seemingly in a fit of rage over not being allowed to open a package left by the mailman but intended for the neighbors on Feb. 16, 2010, in Las Vegas, N.M., Ryan Garcia beat his grandmother, uncle and father with a metal pipe and threw his grandmother out of the house, onto concrete.

While she was on the ground, he punched and kicked her and then attacked his father with a glass bowl followed by a metal pipe.

His grandmother died shortly after being transported to the hospital.

On March 20, 2012, he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery of a household member, with a minimum proscribed sentence of six years and a maximum of nine.

On July 9, 2012, he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

In 2017, a prosecutor moved to have Garcia’s probation revoked and then withdrew it after his parole was revoked.

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The incident

On Feb. 16, 2010, officers responded to a domestic disturbance in the 1100 block of Columbia Street in Las Vegas, New Mexico. When they arrived, they found two people on the ground in front of the house. One, grandmother Margaret Garcia, was lying in the yard while the other, uncle Robert Garcia, was lying on the porch. Both appeared to be bloodied, bruised and swollen, Las Vegas Police Department Detective Kenneth Jenkins wrote in a statement of probable cause for Ryan Garcia’s arrest.

Las Vegas, NM. Photo by Greg Gjerdingen/Flickr

Father Ralph Garcia was outside in the yard, holding a large pipe and handcuffed. Shortly thereafter, Ryan Garcia walked out of the house and he, too, was handcuffed.

“While at the scene, through brief interviews of victims and witnesses, it was discovered that Ryan was the aggressor in the disturbance,” Jenkins wrote. “It was found that Ryan was the person to inflict injury to Mr. Robert Garcia, Margaret Garcia and Ralph Garcia. Through these interviews it was discovered that Ryan was upset because he was not allowed to open a package left at the home by the mailman for the neighbors.”

Ryan Garcia filled with rage and started to punch his uncle, Robert Garcia, in the face.

“Ryan then turned to his grandmother Margaret and began punching her in the face,” Jenkins wrote. “Ryan then grabs his grandmother and throws her out the front doors. Ms. Margaret Garcia is said to fallen off of the porch head first, onto the cement.”

Ryan Garcia then grabbed his uncle and dragged him outside to the porch and started kicking and punching him.

“Ryan then turned to his grandmother Margaret and began punching and kicking her as she law on the ground,” Jenkins wrote. “At this time, Ryan’s father a Mr. Ralph Garcia arrives at the home from going to the store. It is said Ryan throws a glass bowl at him striking him in the face.”

Ryan Garcia then grabbed the metal pipe and started hitting his father with it, but his father fought back and the pair began to struggle for the makeshift weapon.

“During a struggle, Mr. Ralph Garcia is able to take the pipe away from Ryan,” Jenkins wrote. “As Officers arrived, subjects were detained and victims treated.”

Robert and Margaret Garcia were transported to the Alta Vista Regional Hospital, but Margaret Garcia died three days later at 7:53 a.m., Feb. 19.

He was initially charged with second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery on a household member with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm.

In December 2010, San Miguel District Attorney Richard Flores told the Las Vegas Optic that Garcia was not competent to stand trial and was being housed in a state hospital.

Below is the affidavit for an arrest warrant written by Jenkins:

 

Ryan Garcia - Affidavit for Arrest Warrant

 

Bind over

On July 27, 2011, District Court Judge Abigail Aragon signed a stipulated order finding Garcia competent to stand trial, according to the Magistrate Court case.

On Oct. 27, 2011, after waiving his right to have his case presented for a preliminary hearing or to a grand jury, he was bound over to District Court on a criminal information charging second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery on a household member with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm.

Ryan Garcia - Dist Criminal Information

 

The plea

On March 20, 2012, Ryan Garcia pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery against a household member.

“The range of the sentence shall be a minimum of six (6) years and a maximum of nine (9) years in the court’s discretion, including whether the sentences shall run concurrent or consecutive to each other,” the plea agreement states.

Aragon, who presided over the case in District Court, signed off on the deal. The prosecutor’s signature is illegible.

Ryan Garcia - Plea

 

The sentence

Portrait of District Judge Abigail Aragon
District Judge Abigail Aragon

On July 9, 2012, Aragon sentenced Ryan Garcia to seven years in prison, two years less than the maximum nine years she could have given him under the plea agreement.

She also found both of his crimes were serious violent offenses, meaning he has to serve 85 percent of his seven year sentence, just under six years.

Ryan Garcia received credit for time he had already served in jail, 848 days (2.32 years).

According to the For The Record notes kept during the sentencing hearing, it lasted from 1:42 p.m. until 2:06 p.m.

A woman only identified in the notes as “Ms. Garcia” told the judge that Ryan Garcia was her nephew and that he was a “very troubled young man” and that his life had not been easy.

“He needs help,” she said, according to the notes.

The judge described his pre-sentence evaluation as “very interesting.”

 

Parole revoked after release

According to notice of a probation violation, Ryan Garcia was paroled on May 18, 2017 and released from prison after serving his seven-year sentence. After a month at a facility called Hoffman Hall, he moved in with his mother, after being “discharged” from the program, because he could not afford the rent.

On July 7, 2017, a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy arrested Garcia after a woman reported him behind her house and allegedly threatening the woman. He was arrested for concealing his identity and assault. The deputies used one of his tattoos and his ankle monitor to identify him.

Garcia also allegedly failed to contact the drug test line every weekday after his arrest. However, between his release and arrest, he only called the line three times.

On Aug. 15, 2017, prosecutor Thomas Clayton filed a motion to revoke Garcia’s probation and on Sept. 15, 2017, he filed another motion to withdraw it and wrote that Garcia’s parole was revoked.

 

See all of the documents on Google Drive or Document Cloud

 

Judgement and Sentence - Ryan Garcia_Redacted

 

Ryan Garcia 7-9-2012 FTR

 

 

Fourth Judicial District Court (Las Vegas, New Mexico). C Hanchey/Flickr. Licensed, CC BY-NC 2.0.