Related Stories
FARMINGTON — Bobby Willis remains at large after weeks of being wanted on suspicion of embezzlement, racketeering and securities fraud, but his lawyers say he is willing to appear before a judge via Skype.

Santa Fe attorneys John W. Day and Mark Donatelli filed motions Tuesday seeking to quash Willis' arrest warrants and compel the District Attorney's Office to turn over certain documents.

The judge has not ruled on the motions.

Willis is charged with embezzling more than $1 million from former business partner Mike Atchison in the form of a check, gemstones and gold coins.

Willis is receiving medical treatment at a major hospital after suffering from several minor strokes and hypertension, Day said.

In an Oct. 11 hearing, Magistrate Judge Mark Hawkinson denied attempts by Willis' attorneys to quash the arrest warrants. The new motions ask Hawkinson to reconsider.

Dustin O'Brien, chief deputy district attorney, said Thursday he had not seen the filings.

Farmington Police Department Cpl. Russ Bradford has been removed from the case because of questions surrounding a real estate transaction he conducted with Willis in 2007. Sgt. Brandon Lane is leading the investigation for now.

"You just can't have an investigation run by a guy with personal ties," Day said.

Prosecutors recently disclosed that the Aztec house Bradford bought from Willis was sold to Willis by Mike Atchison, Willis' alleged victim who testified at the October hearing.


Advertisement

Atchison traded the house to Willis for a quantity of gemstones, which the Atchison family now believes were worth far less than Willis claimed. Atchison's son Tyrell was also involved in the transaction, and he was recently convicted of a drug-related offense in Arizona.

Ken Stalter, assistant district attorney, said in an Oct. 15 letter to Willis' attorneys that to their knowledge Bradford was not aware of the alleged fraud at the time of his transaction with Willis. Prosecutors nevertheless requested Bradford be reassigned.

Willis formerly owned New Mexico Title Co. and New Mexico Title Escrow. The Farmington companies collapsed in late January amid allegations of missing funds.