The Docket

Posted

The following is a selected overview of case activity in the Taos County court system. All dates and times are subject to change.

Trials

Oct. 31

David Lewis, jury trial – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Emilio Chavez

A jury trial has begun for Lewis, a 64-year-old Carson man charged with four felony counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child under the age of 13.

Last month, the court rejected a motion filed by the defense to dismiss the case on the grounds that delays in resolving the case had violated the defendant’s right to a speedy trial.

A grand jury first indicted Lewis on charges on Oct. 1, 2015 for crimes that allegedly occurred between February 2007 and June 2015.

For more information on this case, read our past coverage online at http://bit.ly/2z2pZOB.

Nov. 13

Juan David Gonzalez, jury trial – Taos District Court, Courtroom B, Judge Jeff McElroy

A new trial date has been set for Gonzalez’s case after a probation officer set to testify failed to make the original court date on Oct. 2.

Gonzalez and two accomplices were accused of fleeing two New Mexico State Police officers attempting to serve a warrant for Gonzalez’s arrest in the Ranchos de Taos Post Office parking lot on Dec. 5, 2016. Gonzalez allegedly fired an assault rifle at the pursuing officers during an ensuing car chase.

Gonzalez will be tried on four felony counts and one misdemeanor.

For more information on this case, read our past coverage online at bit.ly/2eWvPs2.

Nov. 27

Cristian Orozco, jury trial – Taos District Court, courtroom and judge not listed

Orozco will be tried this month on kidnapping, burglary, battery and assault charges in connection to a Feb. 25 event that began in Peñasco and ended in Española.

During the event, Orozco allegedly forced entry into a home in Peñasco, where Ranchos de Taos teenager Angelica Valdez, a minor, was staying with her grandparents. Orozco allegedly brandished a handgun upon entering the home, assaulted the family and kidnapped Valdez. He then allegedly fled south with the young woman to the Española area, where he was arrested the following morning on Feb. 26. The alleged victim was returned to safety.

Orozco is the younger brother of Rafael Orozco, who also faces charges for crimes allegedly committed in Taos County. Both men were involved in an altercation with jailers at the Taos County Adult Detention Center on Sept. 28. Additional charges for the event have not been filed for Cristian Orozco.

For more information on this case, read our past coverage online at http://bit.ly/2nNw6U4.

Arraignments, hearings, conferences

Oct. 26

Juan Espinoza, preliminary examination – Taos Magistrate Court, Courtroom B, Chief Judge Ernest Ortega

Espinoza, a 21-year-old Bakersfield, California, resident charged with multiple counts of homicide by vehicle connected to a Sept. 30 car crash that killed two people and critically injured one other, appeared for a preliminary examination in October.

Previously, the defendant was released from the Taos County Adult Detention Center after he posted $2,000 for a $20,000 cash surety bond.

Meanwhile, the defense counsel and state prosecutors are gathering evidence and subpoenaing witnesses for interviews in preparation for trial. However, one looming lack of key evidence – an accurate blood-alcohol reading from the defendant, who allegedly admitted to drinking around the time of the crash – remains a challenge for the prosecution.

For more information on this case, read our past coverage online at http://bit.ly/2xLcZeA.

Oct. 31

Andrew Bernard Mott, plea conference – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

A plea deal is in the works for Mott, a 58-year-old Costilla resident who was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an off-duty New Mexico State Police officer and his family with a .45-caliber firearm on March 11.

The details of the plea agreement had not been filed in district court as of press time.

For more information on this story, read our past coverage online at bit.ly/2qJwr7Q.

Corwynn Valencia, arraignment, preliminary hearing – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

Valencia was arraigned in district court on a slew of charges stemming from a Sept. 11 event, including aggravated assault upon a peace officer, criminal damage to property and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

During the event, Valencia allegedly stole a flat-bed tow truck from a local towing company and led multiple law enforcement agencies on a 9-mile pursuit in and around Taos. Officers fired shots during the pursuit, with one bullet wounding Valencia in the hand as he continued to attempt to flee officers and struck several police units, causing extensive damage.

A motion to hold the defendant without bond was upheld in district court, citing the defendant’s prior felony conviction and reckless, dangerous behavior during the event.

A trial has not yet been set.

For more information on this case, read our past coverage online at http://bit.ly/2gSTFFF.

Requildo Cárdenas, arraignment – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

Cárdenas was arraigned in district court on charges that include aggravated assault upon a peace officer, fleeing and resisting. The charges stem from an Aug. 28 event at Fred Baca Park in Taos.

During the event, Taos Adult Probation and Parole officers and an officer from Taos Police Department attempted to arrest Cárdenas, who was wanted for absconding on parole and was parked in a vehicle at the park with one passenger, Elizabeth Maestas, 21. As they attempted to perform the arrest, police allege that Cárdenas attempted to flee in the vehicle and strike officers. The police officer on the scene responded by firing two shots. None struck Cárdenas, but a piece of shrapnel allegedly wounded Maestas, who later recovered from her injury.

For more on this case, read our article in this week’s paper and refer to our past coverage online at http://bit.ly/2A5dp1c.

Nov. 20

Martin Rivera, sentencing hearing – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

Rivera will be sentenced on aggravated burglary and larceny charges stemming from a case connected to crimes that took place in May, 2015.

The defendant was accused of stealing firearms and a television from a residence in Ranchos de Taos. The owner of the stolen property tracked Rivera and the accomplice to a local gas station, where they engaged in an altercation and subsequent car chase. Shots were fired during the chase, but no one was injured. For more information on this case, read our past coverage at http://bit.ly/2h06oKd.

Ricky M. Romero, pretrial conference – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

A conference will be held in Romero’s case, which will assist legal counsel and the court to resolve any outstanding legal issues before a jury trial scheduled for Dec. 18.

Romero, a sergeant with the Taos County Sheriff’s Office who ran for sheriff in 2014, was charged with illegally billing a Medicaid program for taking care of a disabled relative during a time period when he also was on duty with the sheriff’s office, according to a complaint filed by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.

For more information on this case, read our past coverage at bit.ly/2w0bOpP.

Coming up ...

Dec. 15

Raymond Martinez, plea conference – Taos District Court, Courtroom B, Judge Jeff McElroy

A conference to approve or deny a proposed plea agreement that has been reached between the defense counsel and the state in the case of Martinez, a man accused of raping and molesting children in 2015, will be held in December, vacating prior trial schedulings.

The details of the plea agreement were not available as of press time, though it is expected that Martinez will be pleading to at least one of several charges connected to the case, in exchange for reduced penalties.

For more information on this case, read our past coverage at http://bit.ly/2z2acPv.

Dec. 18

Rafael Orozco, jury trial – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

Orozco will be tried on two felony counts and one misdemeanor.

On Sept. 21, 2016, Orozco allegedly struck his wife and newborn baby at Holy Cross Hospital and assaulted a health care worker, touching off a lockdown at the hospital and a monthslong search for the suspect.

For more information on this case, read our past coverage online in The Taos News at bit.ly/2x5dl34.

Ricky M. Romero, jury trial – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

Romero will be tried on 21 felony counts of fraud.

For more information on this case, read our past coverage at bit.ly/2w0bOpP.

Jan. 22

Rafael Orozco, jury trial – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

Orozco will be tried on charges that include bringing contraband into a jail, possession of a controlled substance, interference with bomb or fire control and criminal damage to property – infractions the defendant picked up at the Taos County Adult Detention Center, where he had been incarcerated on a prior case.

For more information on this and other cases related to Orozco, read our past coverage at http://bit.ly/2gSjnda.

Jan. 22

Brandon Lopez, jury trial – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

A trial date for Lopez’s case – originally set for Oct. 16 – has been rescheduled for Jan. 22, when the defendant will be tried on nine counts, including first-degree murder.

Lopez stands accused of firing the bullet that fatally wounded 23-year-old Destiny Valdez at the bypass Shell gas station in Taos on Feb. 3.

April 16

Requildo Cárdenas, jury trial – Taos District Court, Courtroom A, Judge Sarah Backus

Cárdenas will be tried on three counts of aggravated assault upon a peace officer, third-degree felonies; one count of aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, a fourth-degree felony; and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.

For more information on this case, read our article in this week’s paper and refer to our past coverage online at http://bit.ly/2A5dp1c.

– Compiled by John Miller

docket

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment