Cochran takes plea in Montiel drowning case

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

A 19-year-old Tucumcari woman has accepted a plea agreement in connection with a May 19, 2006 drowning of a 12-year-old boy that could put her in prison for nine years.

Crystal Cochran pleaded guilty to conspiracy, to abuse of a child resulting in death, four charges of selling or giving alcoholic beverages to a minor and four charges of possession of alcoholic beverages by a minor, according to court documents.

Cochran will undergo a 60-day diagnostic evaluation, according to court documents. After the judge reviews the evaluation Cochran could be sentenced to a maximum of nine years of prison time or probation and fined $35,000, according to court documents.
Then-Magistrate Judge Edwin Bruhn ruled that the case would be adjudicated in Quay County in July of 2006.

Cochran, 18 at the time, was arrested in June of 2006 in connection with the death of 12-year-old Augustine “Augie” Montiel.

The boy had been given alcohol while he was at Cochran’s apartment, according to the plea agreement. Montiel and his friends went swimming in an irrigation canal along Charles Avenue, where he was pulled under by an undercurrent and drowned, officials said.
Officials said an autopsy revealed Montiel had an alcohol level of .13. For adults the legal limit is .08 or less.

In a related case, a request by Fred Jaramillo, III, to dismiss charges also related to the death of Montiel was denied in June by then 10th Judicial District Court Judge Ricky Purcell.

Both Jaramillo and Cochran were arraigned in June 2006 on felony charges in connection to Montiel’s death.