AZTEC — A Farmington man who is in jail on suspicion of second-degree murder and other charges was charged earlier this month with battery against a peace officer after he allegedly injured a jail guard.
Mark Hinojos, 25, allegedly battered a guard because he was upset his shower was cut short, according to the affidavit for his arrest filed in magistrate court last week.
Hinojos has been in jail since Dec. 17, when he was arrested on suspicion of shooting and killing Randy McKenzie, 39, at a Farmington apartment on Butler Avenue. McKenzie was shot to death Dec. 15, and his body was found two days later.
On Jan. 25, Hinojos was showering at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center when jail guards said his time was over and he needed to go back to his cell, according to court documents.
Because of the nature of the charges against him, Hinojos is in a maximum security cell block at the jail and only gets an hour a day out of his cell, San Juan County Sheriff's Office Detective Lt. Cory Tanner said.
That day, he spent most of his hour on the phone, and his shower was cut short, Tanner said.
After Hinojos dressed and was being taken back to his cell, he started yelling at the guards about his short shower, Tanner said.
In his cell, Hinojos allegedly refused to let guards take his handcuffs off. He took a fighting stance in the cell and threatened several guards, according to court documents.
An altercation between Hinojos and several guards ensued, and a female guard was injured.
Eventually, guards pepper sprayed Hinojos, and, when his eyes were closed, they were able to take his handcuffs off.
Mahranda Lasater, the injured guard, and Hinojos were each transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center after the incident.
Hinojos broke his thumb, according to court documents.
The guard didn't have any broken bones, but her arm was sore for at least a week after the incident, according to the documents.
A San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy went to the jail on Jan. 31 and reviewed surveillance footage of the incident. The sheriff's office declined to release footage of the altercation.
San Juan County Adult Detention Administrator Tom Havel said Hinojos will remain guarded with maximum security. During a court appearance on Thursday, he was shackled at the waist and ankles at all times.
"If we believe that an inmate is a high-risk to the community, we will transport them with maximum security," Havel said.
Hinojos was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Thursday, but his case was continued for one week, San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brent Capshaw said.
In addition to the latest case, Hinojos has three pending criminal cases against him. One of those cases is for allegedly trafficking methamphetamines and tampering with evidence, another is in connection to felony narcotics possession and the third is the McKenzie homicide. Hinojos is charged with second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to tamper with evidence in connection to that investigation.Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.