State District Judge Michael Vigil on Friday denied a bond-reduction motion for Toby Gonzales, a 22-year-old man facing a first-degree murder charge who also happened to be released from jail earlier this week by mistake.
Gonzales, whose bond will remain at $300,000 according to Vigil’s ruling, is accused of killing 26-year-old Steven Duran in February 2010.
Reporter Julie Ann Grimm has covered the accidental release of Gonzales all week and on Wednesday got a McKinley County official to acknowledge the defendant’s release was a mistake that was caused when somebody called the jail pretending to be from the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Department. The caller, who has not been identified, apparently claimed the paperwork was on its way and to release the man. Jake Arnold, a sheriff’s department spokesman, denies that claim. Gonzales was arrested again Tuesday.
From one of Julie Ann’s articles this week (to summarize why police say they are charging Gonzales with murder):
State police arrested Gonzales in February 2010 and accused him and another man of beating Steven Duran — a 26-year-old Chamita man — with a pipe, strangling him and setting his body on fire in his truck in the foothills near Ojo Caliente.
Here are some past related articles on Gonzales from The New Mexican:
- Tuesday — Suspected murderer in jail after botched release
- Wednesday — Phone call to jail spurred accidental release of accused killer
- March 2, 2010 — Dental records sought to ID body