San Juan County Sheriff's Office: Emory Werito, 39, struck girlfriend with vehicle

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FARMINGTON — A 39-year-old Nageezi man and his nephews were accused last week of holding a woman against her will in San Juan County with the intent to kill her.

Emory Werito was charged Oct. 6 in Aztec Magistrate Court with first-degree felony kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and battery against a household member.

His nephews, Carlos and Cody Werito, both 19, were each charged with first-degree felony kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Cody Werito was also charged with interfering with communications.

None of the men have retained legal representation, according to court records.

Deputies from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office were dispatched at 4:24 p.m. on Oct. 1 to the intersection of U.S. Highway 550 and N.M. Highway 57 after receiving reports that a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Emory Werito's girlfriend of seven years was found by deputies laying on the side of the highway and was transported by helicopter to San Juan Regional Medical Center, the affidavit states.

The woman told deputies at the hospital she was a passenger earlier that day in a vehicle operated by Emory Werito. The couple's children, ages 3 and 5, and Emory Werito's nephews were also in the vehicle, the affidavit states.

The woman told deputies she and Emory Werito got into an argument, and he punched her in the face several times. She managed to put the vehicle in park, but as she exited and began to walk away, Emory Werito allegedly accelerated and struck her with the vehicle.

Emory Werito and his nephews then allegedly picked her up and put her back in the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

The woman told deputies Emory Werito said he was going to kill her and warned his nephews to remain silent, the affidavit states. Cody Werito stole her cell phone when the woman attempted to call 911, according to the affidavit.

Emory Werito allegedly turned the vehicle onto N.M. Highway 57 and dragged his girlfriend onto the road, according to the affidavit.

The woman said Emory Werito then got back into his vehicle and tried to run her over again, but she crawled off the road and toward a fence.

She said Werito was attempting to drag her back out from under the fence when a vehicle drove by and scared him, the affidavit states.

She told deputies her boyfriend punched her in the head again and then fled in his vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Emory Werito and his nephews were arrested Friday, according to court records.

All three of them are expected to appear Thursday at a preliminary examination hearing.

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

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