Soto admits to stabbing in police interview
AZTEC — Jurors in the murder trial for Cody Soto on Tuesday watched a video recording of Soto’s fourth interview with detectives, in which he admits to stabbing his 29-year-old ex-girlfriend, Brandy Robinson.
Prosecutors also presented as evidence Tuesday private messages Soto, 26, allegedly sent to Robinson on Facebook. In the messages, Soto expressed his love for Robinson and stated he wanted to reconcile with her.
Robinson’s nude body was found by detectives with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office on June 22, 2013, near the Bisti Highway south of Farmington.
A state medical investigator testified Thursday that Robinson was stabbed and slashed 23 times, including wounds on her chest, arms, back and legs. Her throat was also slashed, according to the investigator.
Detective Sgt. Candice Montoya of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office testified Tuesday she conducted the fourth interview, on July 10, 2013, at Soto’s behest. Soto also was interviewed on June 22, July 1 and July 9, all in 2013.
Soto, 26, was questioned for several hours on July 9, the third interview, and, according to Montoya, also admitted during that interrogation to stabbing Robinson on June 20, two days before her body was found.
However, Soto quickly recanted and claimed another suspect, Michael “Sparky” Graham, stabbed Robinson, according to the recording.
He then claimed in the recording several associates of Robinson stabbed, beat and raped her at a residence south of Farmington.
Last week the jury also heard the June 22 and July 1 interviews with Soto.
Soto met with detectives Montoya and Justin Rieker at a sheriff’s office substation for the July 10 interview and initially stated he was not involved in Robinson’s death, according to the video recording.
“I don’t know the story,” he told them. “I was not at the scene.”
But Soto went silent and began sobbing when asked directly by Rieker whether he stabbed Robinson, according to the recording.
The detectives asked Soto several more times whether he stabbed Robinson and, after several minutes, he admits he stabbed her twice, according to the recording.
He first stated in the recording he stabbed Robinson at the motel room of David “D.C.” Carter and then claimed it happened at a residence south of Farmington.
Detectives told Soto those were lies, according to the recording.
He then stated he could not remember what happened, according to the recording.
“It was all blurry to me,” he said in the recording.
Soto was not arrested at the substation. He ended the interview after less than two hours.
Montoya testified Tuesday that she obtained Robinson’s Facebook messages and phone records through a search warrant.
The jury was shown several messages Soto sent Robinson in the days leading up to her death, asking her to take him back.
Soto also appears to have sent messages to Robinson on the day she was found dead and the day after, according to the evidence.
Soto sent messages to Robinson on June 22 and June 23 asking her to contact him.
Sgt. Terry McCoy testified last week he did not tell Soto that Robinson was dead during the June 22 interview, which McCoy conducted, but instead told Soto that Robinson was reported missing.
McCoy said he did not reveal the fact that Robinson was murdered because Soto was a person of interest in the death.
Montoya also testified Tuesday that Robinson’s phone records indicate her phone stopped communicating with cell towers after 10:42 p.m. on June 20, two days before her body was found.
Montoya told jurors the phone would cease communication if it was destroyed, the battery was removed or if the phone was turned off.
An associate of Robinson, Nolan Reeves, testified Friday he met Robinson at the Miller Bridge in Farmington at approximately 11 p.m. on June 20.
Prosecutors entered as evidence his text messages with Robinson leading up to that meeting.
Reeves told the jury he and Robinson spoke briefly and Robinson left alone on foot headed east on U.S. Highway 64.
Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.