Court order lets Tony Day go on field trips

By Steve Hansen

QCS Managing Editor

A 15-year-old Tucumcari boy accused of killing his adoptive mother and sister in November 2012 is being allowed to attend field trips as a patient of the Sequoyah Adolescent Treatment Center in Albuquerque, according to a court order signed by Tenth Judicial District Court Judge Albert Mitchell.

Tenth Judicial District Attorney Tim Rose is challenging that order, citing the violent nature of Tony Day’s alleged crime, possible threats to public safety and the possibility Day might escape.

Day should not be allowed to participate in recreational field trips, Rose said in a motion challenging the court order issued by Mitchell.

Rose said Mitchell’s order was issued without consulting the district attorney’s office, as the judge apparently had pledged to do last December.

Mitchell was not available for comment Tuesday.

“While these recreational activities my be appropriate for certain children that are at Sequoyah (i.e. nonviolent offenders),” Rose wrote, “(they are) certainly not appropriate for Tony Day, who brutally murdered two people and is awaiting trial and of whom we are yet to receive any information as to his mental state, dangerousness, etc.”

Rose said he is not assured there would be adequate restrictions on children “or any other measures taken to assure children …(won’t) escape or cause harm to others.”

Jeffrey Buckels, Day’s defense attorney said the intent of the field trips “has nothing to do with recreation.”

“They are therapeutic,” Buckels said. The field trips, he said, are a part of a therapy program and indicate that detainees are “ready to graduate to different activities” as part of treatment.

He said the request to permit Day to participate in the field trips originated with Sequoyah staff.

Kathleen Oakey, Day’s legal guardian — like Buckels a public defender — relayed the Sequoyah staff’s request to Mitchell.

As to Day’s readiness for such activities, Buckels said, “I would defer to the professionals” on the Sequoyah staff.

“There appears to be no information provided directly by Sequoyah as to these field trips or any information whatsoever as to whether Tony Day would be a flight risk or a danger to himself or others if allowed to participate in the field trips,” Rose said in his motion.

Without a hearing, the motion says, the court filed an order on or about Jan. 30, allowing Day to attend field trips without consulting the DA’s office.

Rose said he did not become aware of the motion until March 10, when an amended order was filed.

“No hearing was scheduled and the court did not contact the state or victims prior to issuing either order,” Rose’s motion concluded.

Sequoyah’s website describes the facility as a “36-bed adolescent treatment program operating 24 hours a day in a secure setting,” and “a safety-net program that specializes in aggressive boys ages 13-17 who have the cognitive capacity to benefit from verbal therapies.”

Further, according to the website, the facility is “for treatment, not incarceration.”


  1. Any body that think this is OK there is something wrong with there thinking maybe he can go to the judge s house for dinner

  2. m.lahaye says:

    Another case were criminals have more rights than the victims and family

  3. Bobbi J Wilson says:

    This young man have been in counseling for many years before my parents adopted him and he also had a choice to be adopted or not he was even allowed to pick his own name. To the question about money yes they had to tell how the money was being used but what I don’t get is what gives this young man the right to brutally murder my sister that had stage for colon cancer and was fighting to stay alive she fought back against this young man to try to live he used knives and manually strangled her . Then my mother had to go in and see her daughter dead and then he shot her in the back twice. I was raped when I was younger does that give me the right to go out and kill all man no it doesn’t it means I get help. As this young had many years of counseling he chose to be adopted by my parents. The things with him going on field trips I and a lot of my family lives in Albuquerque I now have a fear of leaving my my house in the chance that I might run into him so for murdering two people he has more rights than I do he’s not being incarcerated he is getting treatment which they have not even through the court decided if he is amenable for treatment. He took so much from our family that no one unless it’s happened to them will ever understand . I miss my mom Sue day and sister Sherry felt very much I still cry and wish that my mom could put her arms around me just one more time and tell me she loves me and I could put my arms around my sister and tell her I loved her. But no this man young man took that away from me & my family for ever.
    Written by loving daughter and sister Bobbi Wilson

  4. Tracy Andrews says:

    There are true injustices in this case.
    1. The loss of two loved ones. My Aunt and cousin.
    2. A juvenile that committed two brutal murders, going on field trips. Why should he get to be let out?
    3. Not trying him in a timely fashion as an adult for double murder!
    I miss my loved ones and because I know he is guilty for taking them away, he should be punished!

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