Taos felon granted probation charged with beating detainee

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 4/18/19

The day Taos District Court Judge Jeff McElroy sentenced Martin Rivera to a long-term drug treatment center for a stabbing case filed in 2017, Rivera picked up another case for allegedly beating a …

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Taos felon granted probation charged with beating detainee

Posted

The day Taos District Court Judge Jeff McElroy sentenced Martin Rivera to a long-term drug treatment center for a stabbing case filed in 2017, Rivera picked up another case for allegedly beating a fellow detainee unconscious at the Taos County Adult Detention Center last month.

Taos County Sheriff’s Deputy Shana McTague said video surveillance at the jail captured Rivera, 23, speaking with another detainee, Rafael Orozco, 24, before the pair jumped detainee Christopher Wayne Davis in B pod on March 31.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit written by McTague, Rivera and Orozco punched and kicked Davis in the head roughly 40 times over the course of a minute-long attack.

Davis began vomiting and was sent to Holy Cross Hospital after the beating. He was diagnosed with a concussion, according to the affidavit.

Rivera and Orozco were each charged with one count of aggravated battery and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated battery.

Orozco faces two pending felony cases, one for allegedly striking his wife and newborn baby at Holy Cross in the fall of 2017.

Rivera faces several pending felony cases, including one that alleges he was found in possession of a homemade knife and battered a guard at the jail on March 18.

After an emotional appeal by both his mother and his defense attorney at a detention hearing held April 9, Judge McElroy granted Rivera probation after the 22-year-old pleaded guilty to stabbing a man in the parking lot of Smith’s in April 2017.

Rivera’s release has been stalled by what McElroy has described as a “tangled web of cases,” however, and had not been released as of press time, in part due to continual efforts by the state to persuade the court that he remains a danger to the community.

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