Victim says he lives in fear since shooting

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FARMINGTON — Shah Malik, the 59-year-old Farmington man shot five times during the early morning hours on New Year's Day, said he has been afraid for his life since the man accused of shooting him was released on bond last month.

Marcus McGee was arrested the morning of the shooting and charged with first-degree murder on allegations he shot Malik at his 1204 N. Wall Ave. residence.

McGee, 41, was initially held on a $100,000 cash or surety bond, according to court records, but McGee successfully petitioned the magistrate court to lower his bond to $80,000, which he posted on Jan. 27.

McGee's attorney, Scott Curtis, could not be reached for comment.

Malik said he used to sit at his residence with an open front door, but he is more cautious now. He rose from his seat Friday afternoon and stared warily at an SUV that passed by the residence.

"It always makes me nervous whenever someone goes by," he said.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said his office fought the bond reduction, but magistrate Judge Rena Scott found in favor of the defendant.

O'Brien said he did not know why McGee was not provided a cash-only bond, which would require him to post the bond in full to be released, rather than the 10 percent required for a surety bond.

"Unfortunately, there is not a rhyme or reason for why bonds are being set, in part because of the court's decision in (State v. Walter Brown)," O'Brien said.

In that case, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that judges needed to consider a defendant's risk factors when setting bond. The decision discouraged judges from setting bonds at a predetermined amount based on the level of the offense and the defendant's prior criminal history.

"What we have gotten since then are bonds that are inconsistent across the board," O'Brien said.

The New Mexico Legislature on Thursday approved a proposal amending the state's constitution to allow judges to deny bail to defendants deemed a danger to the public. New Mexicans will vote on that constitutional amendment in November.

Malik said he was shot twice in the head, once in the upper right torso and twice in the right arm. A bullet remains lodged in his neck creating a swollen lump behind his left ear.

He said the pain in his jaw was, "like electricity running through my teeth."

"To get hit five times by a .380, everyone says you're lucky," Malik said. "No, that's God's work."

Farmington police officers were dispatched at 2:44 a.m. on Jan. 1 to a residence on Tycksen Drive after receiving reports Malik had fallen through a neighbor's door "drenched in blood," according to a police report.

The neighbor previously told The Daily Times he and his wife were entertaining guests when they heard someone jiggle the front door handle.

He said a guest opened the door and Malik collapsed into the doorway.  He asked Malik who shot him and Malik told him: "Marcus, Marcus shot me four times," according to the neighbor.

Malik was conscious when police arrived and rushed to San Juan Regional Medical Center. He was later flown to Albuquerque for further treatment.

Officers followed a blood trail across the street to Malik's residence, where they established a perimeter, the report states. McGee would later be arrested at his residence on Walnut Drive in Farmington, according to the report.

Malik's long-time girlfriend, Norma Jean Phillips, told The Daily Times she was with McGee playing cards at a residence on Glade Lane on the night of the shooting. She said McGee left the game at approximately 2:30 a.m. and came back at 4 a.m.

She said McGee told her then: "You're going to have a good New Year."

Phillips told police McGee borrowed a bicycle when he left the residence, according to the report.

A green bicycle was found Jan. 3 outside a residence on E. 15th St., a block away from Malik's house, the report states.

Police also found a blood-encrusted .380 caliber handgun with a laser sight laying between gravestones at Green Lawn Cemetery, according  to the report.

McGee denied shooting Malik in an interview with detectives, the report states, but a bloody shoe print at the scene of the shooting matched a shoe impression found at McGee's residence.

Police also found $4,123 in cash, methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a .380 caliber cartridge at the residence.

Malik said he and Phillips met McGee when McGee ran a clothing store in Farmington. He said McGee lived with them for two years rent-free and he encouraged McGee to attend barber school in Albuquerque.

"And to have somebody turn around and do that to me?" Malik said, exasperated.

Malik said he does not know why McGee shot him, but he suspected McGee's methamphetamine use made him paranoid.

"He had it in his mind I was snitching," Malik said.

Malik said he served more than eight years in prison in Colorado for a murder conviction that was later overturned on appeal. He said he dedicated himself to helping at-risk youth when he was released from prison in 1999, but that ended in 2008 when he was arrested for cocaine possession.

"I was in a vehicle with someone who had drugs," Malik claimed. "I got three years probation because I knew the drugs were in the car."

Malik said the shooting made him realize he needs to change his life and return to helping children.

"There comes a time when you got to face reality," he said, adding later. "(God) wants me to do what I was doing before we started hanging with drunks and drug dealers."

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

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