State police on Tuesday announced that they have, in fact, been asked to investigate how an accused murderer from Rio Arriba County was accidentally released from a McKinley County jail a couple weeks ago.
Toby Gonzales, 22, is awaiting trial on a charge he and another man in February 2010 beat and killed 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.
Jail officials say they got a phone call to release Gonzales, so they did. Gonzales was re-arrested without incident a few days later.
Now, state police investigators have been asked to get a little more info.
Here is an e-mail sent out Tuesday by Lt. Eric Garcia:
At the request of the McKinley County Administration and District Attorney Karl Gillson, the New Mexico State Police have opened up a criminal investigation at the McKinley County Adult Detention Center for the improper release of first degree murder suspect Toby Gonzales.
Toby Gonzales is facing the felony charges for the 2010 murder of 26 year old Steven Duran. Since Gonzales’ capture by the Rio Arriba County Sheriffs Department, Gonzales remains in the Tierra Amarilla Adult Detention Center on a $300,000.00 bond.
After his re-arrest, a judge denied Gonzales’ bond-reduction request and