Suspect: Anthony Faustine
Victim: Timothy Chino
Non-fatal victim: Katrina Juanico
Charges: Second-degree murder, assault resulting in serious bodily injury
Incident type: DWI crash following a police chase
Date of incident: April 22, 2020
Investigating Agency: Bureau of Indian Affairs
Prosecutor: Nicholas Marshall
Prosecuting agency: U.S. Attorney’s Office
Location: Cottonwood Trail, near the border of Laguna and Acoma pueblos, Cibola County
Federal magistrate case number: None
Federal district case number: 20-cr-01365
Probation state case number: D-1333-CR-2016-00041
On April 22, 2020, Anthony Faustine, 40, of Acoma, allegedly crashed his car while drunk after fleeing from police. Judge Amanda Sanchez Villalobos released him one day earlier after he was arrested on a failure-to-appear bench warrant issued after he allegedly absconded from probation in 2018. He fled from the crash, leaving a man under his car who died at the scene, according to an investigator’s report. A woman was also severely injured and flown from the scene, according to the report. Laguna Pueblo tribal officers charged him following the crash.
On June 9, a federal grand jury indicted him on charges of second-degree murder and assault and battery resulting in serious bodily harm.
On Aug. 31, a federal magistrate judge ordered he be held without bail pending trial.
Laguna tribal police officer Brandon Mariano wrote in a criminal complaint, filed in Laguna Tribal Court, that a call about a red Suzuki first came to dispatchers at 3:23 p.m., April 22, 2020.
An unknown woman told them the car was swerving on eastbound Interstate-40 and almost hit her car, just before it left on Exit 104, toward State Road 124. Officers were sent to look for the car, he wrote.
Laguna Highway Safety Officer Keith Riley told Mariano that while searching, he talked to a construction foreman on Rainfall Road, Mariano wrote.
“The foreman told HSO Riley that the vehicle which Officers were looking for passed through their work zone and nearly hit a few of the workers while it was passing through,” Mariano wrote. “HSO Riley was also told the vehicle was traveling on Cottonwood Trail, headed toward the Pueblo of Acoma.”
Riley and Laguna Police Department Officer Roslynn Lente found the red Suzuki near the border of Acoma and Laguna on Cottonwood Trail. Riley pulled in front of the car with his emergency lights, exited and told the driver to get out. The driver, later identified as Faustine, allegedly refused, revved the engine and sped away from Riley, Mariano wrote.
Riley “contacted the hood” as it sped off and Lente was “nearly to the vehicle” when Riley told her to stay in her car, as Faustine allegedly sped by her, Mariano wrote.
As the red Suzuki Sidekick sped away, the officers began to pursue it, then Riley called it off because it was on a dirt road, he wrote.
“HSO Riley then said just as he was finished the vehicle drove around a corner and began to roll,” Mariano wrote.
When the pair arrived at the crash scene, Faustine allegedly ran from the vehicle and Riley chased him on foot and told Lente to tend to the other two people in the car, he wrote.
Riley unholstered his stun gun and told Faustine to stop. Faustine fell to the ground and Riley placed him “restraints.” Faustine smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech, bloodshot and glassy eyes and could not maintain his balance, Mariano wrote.
The crash ejected the front passenger, Timothy Chino, and pinned him under the vehicle. The other passenger, Katrina Juanico, was in the back seat and airlifted from the scene, he wrote.
While one medic, Isaac Herrera, tried to get Faustine’s blood pressure, Faustine allegedly tried to bit him. Faustine was eventually transported by ambulance for his injuries, Mariano wrote.
Mariano wrote he found Bud Light beer cans from the “beginning to the end of the crash,” as well as two bottles of vodka, he wrote.
A federal grand jury indicted Faustine on June 8, 2020, on charges of second-degree murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury for the crash that, according to tribal court documents, allegedly killed Timothy Chino and severely injured Katrina Juanico.
Federal Magistrate Judge Steven Yarbrough ordered Faustine held without bail, and remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service, during his virtual arraignment, Monday (8/31/2020). Faustine pleaded not guilty and waived a detention hearing.
According to federal court filings, Faustine was being held in the Cibola County Detention Center in Grants prior to his initial appearance on Aug. 27, 2020.
Faustine appears to have been initially jailed, following the crash, after Laguna Pueblo tribal police officer Brandon Mariano charged him in Laguna Pueblo tribal court with homicide by vehicle, reckless driving, aggravated DUI and battery following the April 22, 2020 crash.
On April 20, 2020, District Court Judge Amanda Sanchez Villalobos ordered Faustine released from jail after arraigning him on a bench warrant issued on Dec. 13, 2018 after he failed to appear for his arraignment on the original probation violation.
He had been in custody since April 9, 2020, when the Isleta Police Department arrested him on the warrant.
Probation Officer Eric Barela wrote in a probation report dated Oct. 25, 2018 that Faustine was sentenced to three-and-a-half years of supervised probation on Oct. 6, 2016, on the DUI third offense and aggravated fleeing an officer charges.
“Since being sentenced Probationer Faustine has completed sanctions of 3 days and 7 days in custody due to violations of Reporting and Alcohol,” Barela wrote. “Probationer Faustine has shown by calling Cordant and failing to report for UA’s that he understands that he is violating his probation and continues to disreguard (sic) the orders of this court and his orders of probation.”
Barela wrote in the 2018 report that Faustine’s convictions, along with his failure to report and to complete drug and alcohol tests, meant he was a danger to the community.
“Probationer Faustine is now and (sic) ABSCONDER from supervision and has proven that he does not take probation serious and is not a good candidate for supervised probation,” Barela wrote.
Barela wrote he was asking that the prosecutor file a motion to revoke his probation and sentence him to the remainder of his sentence, which would have had him in jail until June 4, 2020.
Prosecutor Sherry Thompson filed a motion to revoke Faustine’s probation on Nov. 15, 2018. She included the original plea deal, signed by prosecutor Brandon Vigil, which gave Faustine a suspended sentence minus the mandatory 97 days he had to serve on the DUI charge. The plea was approved by District Judge Pedro Rael.
When he was supposed to be arraigned on the probation violation charges, he never showed up, leading to the Dec. 13, 2018 bench warrant, eventually served on April 9, 2020, by the Isleta Police Department, according to court records.
After Faustine was arraigned on April 20, 2020, Barela issued a violation report on May 1, 2020, after Faustine failed to report for probation, followed by another on May 5. Sanchez Villalobos issued a bench warrant on May 6. It appears he did not know about the crash until, May 13, when he received a notification of arrest for Faustine. It listed him as in the Laguna jail.
Sanchez Villalobos sentenced Anthony Faustine, 40, on Sept. 1, 2020, to 417 days after he admitted to violating his probation in the his 2016 DWI 3rd offense and fleeing an officer case. She also ordered him discharged from probation.
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