AZTEC — Donovan King told a friend, "I killed a guy," during a recorded jail-house phone call, which was presented Wednesday as evidence in his murder trial.
King's attorney, Cosme Ripol, said his client's comment was misinterpreted. During the third day of the trial, Ripol also accused detectives of testifying in court to facts not found in their police reports.
King, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kevin Lossiah, 40. Lossiah was fatally injured in a beating at his home on May, 29, 2011, in Farmington.
Prosecutors played the recorded conversation at the start of the day. The audio started with a warning that advised King the conversation was being recorded. The call was made to a male friend.
"Did you hear about what happened?" King asked. "I'm charged with first-degree murder, me and my boyfriend."
He then tells the man "I killed a guy."
"Are you serious?" the other man said.
"Yeah, I'm dead serious," King replied. "My bond is set at $200,000. I really need help. I really, really do need help. Everything just got out of hand. I don't know what happened."
King goes on to ask the man to contact King's family to see if they could send medicine man to meet with King in the jail. Then King asked for $20 to buy hygiene products.
Ripol said the conversation captured the voice of a desperate young man facing a serious criminal charge. He argued that it was possible King meant he didn't do enough to stop a killing when talking to his friend.
He also pointed out that King never mentioned robbing Lossiah in the conversation, and the call didn't offer any insight into King's intent the day of Lossiah's death.
Ripol spent part of Tuesday's trial pointing out to jurors that Justin Mark, the co-defendant in the case, was wet and muddy when police found him near Lossiah's home. Also on Tuesday, Ripol said that Mark led police to Lossiah's wallet, suggesting that Mark was muddy because he got rid of a stick that had blood and hair on it in a ditch north of Lossiah's home. Police believe that stick was one of the murder weapons.
Mark was convicted in November 2012 of first-degree murder for Lossiah's death and is serving a life sentence.
On Wednesday, prosecutors recalled detectives who said King and Mark were muddy when they were arrested near Lossiah's home.
King's clothes "appeared to be wet and muddy, just like Mr. Mark's," Farmington police Detective Paul Martinez testified. "That's what drew my attention to them immediately."
Martinez was the first officer to make contact with Mark and King near Lossiah's apartment.
Ripol referred to Martinez's "alleged observations" as "convenient" and said they appeared in none of his reports.
He asked Detective Davin Badoni, the lead detective in the case, to take time and review all the police reports and look for information about finding King wet and muddy.
"Take your time and look for it," he said. "It's not there."
After Ripol cross-examined Badoni, the jury asked to see pictures of King after he was arrested. The photographs show King wearing dark clothing and what might be dirt on his left shoe.
King's trial is scheduled to continue Thursday.Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.