Local attorney Eric Morrow found guilty of reckless driving

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Farmington attorney Eric Morrow was sentenced last week to five days of court-ordered monitoring, with one day of credit, and 90 days of unsupervised probation for reckless driving and displaying false vehicle registration plates.

Morrow entered an Alford plea to the charges on Dec. 8 through a plea agreement with prosecutors from the 13th Judicial District Attorney's Office, according to court records.

In exchange, prosecutors agreed to dismiss one count of first-offense driving under the influence of drugs, which Morrow was first charged with in Aztec Magistrate Court on June 2013.

Morrow said he was not satisfied with the outcome of the case.

"It was an Alford plea; I didn't admit to guilt," he said. "The prosecutor extorted me and forced me to do the plea."

He declined to elaborate.

Assistant District Attorney Brandon Vigil of the 13th Judicial District Attorney's Office denied the accusation.

"I did what was the best to do," he said. "That type of accusation is totally unprofessional."

According to court documents, a San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy spotted Morrow driving a Ford Explorer that displayed both Colorado and New Mexico license plates on County Road 390 the afternoon of June 19, 2013.

The officer turned on his emergency lights and siren and followed Morrow, who pulled into his driveway on County Road 3775, the documents state.

Morrow backed out of the driveway and hit the deputy's car, the documents state.

Deputies had Morrow perform field sobriety tests, two of which he failed, according to the documents, and he was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center.

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office referred the case to prosecutors from the 13th Judicial District Attorney's Office because Morrow and local prosecutors often try cases against each other, according to The Daily Times archive.

The case was further moved to the Gallup District Court at Morrow's request because of his prominence in the community, according to court records.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.