New trial date set for man accused of murder

The Daily Times staff
Cody Soto

AZTEC — A new trial is set to begin in July for 26-year-old Cody Soto, who has been accused of first-degree murder in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend, Brandy Robinson.

A jury failed to reach a verdict on the murder charge on Feb. 1 after an almost two-week trial.

San Juan County prosecutors allege Soto stabbed Robinson to death on the night of June 20, 2013, and then dumped the 29-year-old woman's nude body in a remote location near the Bisti Highway south of Farmington.

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office discovered the body on June 22, 2013. Detectives identified several suspects and persons of interest in Robinson's death before Soto allegedly confessed to the stabbing during two days of questioning in July 2013.

However, the defense argued during trial that detectives elicited a false confession from Soto and disputed that Soto actually made a confession.

The jury deliberated for approximately three and a half hours before Judge John Dean declared a hung jury. The jury indicated in a note to the judge that they were split 9-3 on Soto's guilt, but it is not clear whether the majority favored a guilty verdict.

A new trial is scheduled to begin on July 12, according to court records.

After the trial ended, Soto's defense attorneys filed a flurry of motions that requested, among other things, that Soto be released on a reduced bond and that the new trial take place outside of San Juan County.

A motion hearing has not yet been scheduled.