Marty Guillen was 10 days shy of his 15th birthday when he allegedly conspired with John Mayes and Samuel Hinds in a plot that included murdering a detention center guard before escaping the facility in Farmington on Jan. 12.
He is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, escape from jail, conspiracy to commit escape from jail and battery for the incident.
San Juan County sheriff's detectives responded to the juvenile facility that day after the jail administrator, Traci Neff, reported that several inmates were overheard discussing the plan.
Detectives, after responding, also listened to conversations among the teens.
The plan was to rush a guard, whom the teens knew by name, pin his arms down and snap the guard's neck before taking his keys and fleeing, Sheriff's Lt. Cory Tanner previously said.
From there they allegedly conspired to rob a nearby house, which could include killing the occupants if necessary, and steal a car to drive to Washington.
It appears that Guillen met Mayes and Hinds while incarcerated.
Mayes, son of City Manager Rob Mayes, was incarcerated following allegations he bludgeoned local doctor, James Nordstrom, to death with a pool cue June 9. He is charged with an open count of murder, and he will be tried as an adult.
Hinds, 16, a Farmington High School student, is accused of stabbing another teen on school grounds during a Sept. 14 incident. Police charged him with attempted murder in the first degree, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, tampering with evidence and concealing identification and unlawfully carrying a weapon on school grounds. He also will be tried as an adult.
The information on the plan was gathered through interviews with the teens, including Guillen.
According to Sheriff's detective Tim Nyce, Guillen signed a Miranda waiver and spoke with Nyce about the escape plan.
"We have policy set up the Sheriff's Office that we have to follow whether it is an adult or juvenile," Nyce said during an April 6 hearing following a motion to suppress Guillen's confession.
Juveniles "have to understand they have the right to stop at any point" during an interview, Nyce said in court.
Guillen told Nyce about the plan and what his job was going to be. He was going to be one of the boys holding down the arms of the guard while another snapped his neck, Nyce said.
Guillen reported that after the escape the group was going to go to the neighborhood behind the jail and find whoever they came across to rob and kill them.
During the interview he "answered timely, he answered quick, he spoke very well and he was articulate," Nyce said.
The point is salient because under New Mexico state statute, statements or admissions "made by a child 13 to 14 years old to a person in a position of authority are inadmissible," according to court records.
The burden rests on state prosecutors to prove that the child was more mature or intelligent than the average 14-year-old.
The state in its response to the suppression motion argued Guillen knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived his rights to have an attorney present during questioning. Furthermore, Guillen was nearing his 15th birthday, and because he had previous encounters with law enforcement, he previously was apprised of his rights, and thus was more knowing than the average 14-year-old.
District Judge William Birdsall in his April 13 ruling found "the state did not present any evidence related to the background, maturity, intelligence," as required by state statute.
The state did not present any witnesses other than Nyce to testify about Guillen.
Despite the loss of the confession, "there is other evidence in addition to his statements to police that we can use to proceed with the prosecution," Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said.
Guillen was being held in the juvenile facility for two separate cases: one involving pending charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, unlawful carrying of a firearm in a liquor establishment and possession of alcoholic beverages by a minor, and the other involving pending charges of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer and assault on a peace officer.
While Guillen's role was essential to pulling off the plan, deputies believe Mayes was the ringleader behind the escape plot, which mirrored details of Mayes' previous encounters with the law.
Mayes, prior to allegedly killing Nordstrom, attempted to rob another residence before moving on to Nordstrom's. A year earlier, Mayes was accused of breaking into two Farmington residences and several businesses, stealing a blue four-wheeler and breaking into a city of Bloomfield 2006 white Chevrolet Trailblazer during a two-day crime spree in September 2010, according to court records.
Hinds' attorney, Steve Murphy, following the escape attempt also pointed the finger at Mayes as the bully who coerced and threatened his client to join the escape.
The Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Office both advocated for Mayes to be transferred to the adult jail when he turned 18, namely because of his age and the severity of the crime of which he stands accused.
A district judge ruled otherwise and Mayes remained in the facility until deputies learned of the escape plot. He was moved after the escape attempt and remains incarcerated in the adult facility. Both the murder case and the escape case are pending.
Hinds' cases also are pending.