Suspect is facing aggravated assault and child abuse charges


FARMINGTON — A Farmington man is accused of throwing an ax at a couple and their child during an argument.

John Ciani Jr., 31, was charged and accused of two fourth-degree felony counts of aggravated assault and one third-degree felony count of child abuse, according to court records.

He is also facing a misdemeanor count of aggravated battery in a separate case, according to court records.

Ciani is accused of grabbing a three-foot, six-inch ax and throwing it at a couple, including a man who was holding their child, according to the probable cause statement.

Attempts to contact Allison Jackson, Ciani's public defender, were unsuccessful.

Deputies for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office were dispatched around 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 22 to a residence in the 100 block of County Road 5582 on reports of a domestic dispute, according to court documents.

The male victim told the deputy Ciani got into an argument with the couple over the volume of a television in the living room.

The television was turned off and the couple went into their bedroom with their child.

Ciani allegedly kicked down the door of the couple's bedroom, which broke the door hinge and then slapped the female victim in the face, according to court documents. 

Ciani then left the bedroom and later returned. 

He allegedly kicked down the bedroom door a second time as the female victim was standing behind it. 

She was slammed into the wall and she landed on a dresser, according to court documents.

The male victim told the deputy Ciani picked up the ax, pointed it at him and then threw the ax toward the couple and their child.

The female victim was sitting on the edge of the bed when the ax was allegedly thrown.

Ciani then left the residence with his girlfriend.

He later returned to the residence and, while speaking to the deputy, he denied throwing the ax and kicking in the bedroom door.

Ciani accused the female of grabbing the back of his neck and striking him in the face.

A preliminary hearing for Ciani is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in Aztec Magistrate Court. He was released on his own recognizance following his first appearance in court on Wednesday.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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