Defense attorney alleges victim lied about kidnapping

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FARMINGTON — A magistrate judge on Thursday dismissed charges against a Farmington couple accused of kidnapping a man at gunpoint earlier this month.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said his office requested the charges be dismissed against Scott Randell Helt and Taylor Jacquez after the alleged victim in the case failed to make a court appearance Thursday.

The alleged victim, Drew Williams, had been scheduled to appear at a preliminary examination hearing to testify against Jacquez.

Williams previously claimed he was kidnapped at gunpoint  — by Jacquez, 27, and Helt, 38 — from the Wildflower subdivision near Farmington on Sept. 8, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Williams told detectives he believed the kidnapping was related to debts owed by a friend, the affidavit states.

Jacquez's attorney, Steve Murphy, said he pressured prosecutors to dismiss the case against his client after locating a witness who said the kidnapping never happened.

"(Police) found out that Drew has some paranoia with his drug problem," Murphy said.

Murphy also alleged Williams fabricated the kidnapping story in an attempt to extort money from Jacquez and her family.

O'Brien confirmed Murphy reported those allegations to detectives, but said they have not yet been verified.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644. 

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