Jaramillo’s request to lower bond denied

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

A man accused of supplying alcohol to a minor who drowned last month will not receive a lower bond, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

Judge Edwin Bruhn said bond for Fred Jaramillo III, 23, would remain at $100,000. Jaramillo has been in jail since June 13, when he was accused of purchasing alcohol for five minors, including 12-year-old Augie Montiel who drowned May 19.

Crystal L. Cochran, 18, is also charged in connection with Montiel’s death. Her bond is set at $75,000 and she remains in the Quay County jail.

Jaramillo’s attorney, Dean Border, asked Judge Bruhn to lower his client’s bond, saying Jaramillo was not a flight risk, had ties to the community and that he was being kept in solitary confinement.

Lyn Walker, assistant district attorney, said the higher bond ensured that Jaramillo would show up in court.

When Border said Jaramillo had “no priors,” Bruhn pointed out that Jaramillo had been arrested on unrelated drug charges and was awaiting a court hearing when he was charged in connection with the boy’s death.

“Due to the alleged actions to date, I’m going to leave bond where it’s set,” Bruhn said.

Eight relatives of Montiel, including his mother, Stella Chavez, and sister, Crestina Rodriguez, attended Tuesday’s hearing. Most were wearing T-shirts in memory of Montiel.
Montiel, a Tucumcari fifth-grader, was found dead inside an irrigation canal along Charles Avenue nearly 24 hours after witnesses saw him swimming with a friend.

Gabriel Jones, 15, was pulled out of the canal alive about 1 1/2 hours later.

Jaramillo’s prior arrest followed a June 5 search of his apartment at 702 Sunset Street that yielded 11 baggies of suspected marijuana found under a mattress, according to court documents.

He was arraigned the following day on charges of distribution of marijuana, conspiracy, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded not guilty and bond was set at $11,000. Jaramillo paid $5,500 to the court and was released.

Assistant District Attorney Walker said, “Offhand, I’d guess that as many as 70 percent of the crimes that I handle are alcohol or drug related. It’s an extremely widespread community problem that needs to be addressed.”