Accused Costilla shooter released, turns over weapons

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Andrew Bernard Mott, the man accused of assaulting an off-duty New Mexico State Police officer and his family in Costilla on March 11, has been released from the Taos County Adult Detention Center.

Mott, 58, left the jail following a Taos District Court arraignment held on Monday (April 24), in which Judge Jeff McElroy granted the defendant a conditional release on a $20,000 unsecured appearance bond.

In addition to the requirement that the defendant reappear in court as his case is processed and wear a GPS ankle bracelet that will track his movements, Mott was also required to turn over any weapons in his possession “within three days of release.”

Mott’s defense attorney, Alan Maestas, confirmed with The Taos News this week that Mott complied with the final condition, turning over two weapons: an LAR .50-caliber BMG Grizzly Big Bore rifle and an Armalite M15 5.56X45 mm assault rifle, according to court documents filed on Monday.

Both are military-grade weapons, each taking rounds commonly seen in armed conflict. For example, the .50-caliber round was developed in the early 1920s for use among NATO forces and comes in variations that include incendiary and armor-piercing rounds, sometimes used to penetrate tanks. The cartridge is about 5 inches in length and almost an inch in diameter.

But there was a glaring, possible omission in the weapons surrendered.

Law enforcement has alleged that the defendant used a .45-caliber handgun to fire at least one shot at New Mexico State Police Lt. Jose Martinez and his family members on March 11, but no such firearm was turned in following the defendant’s release.

The alleged weapon was also not recovered during an initial search. A second search that took place while the defendant was still being held on bond also came up empty, according to the court documents, which state that the defendant had, in fact, hidden the weapons “at a site away from his home” prior to his arrest on March 27.

Mott’s case has been transferred to Taos District Court Judge Sarah Backus. The defendant’s next hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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