Former murder suspect imprisoned for meth plea

Steve Garrison

FARMINGTON — Cody Soto was sentenced Wednesday to seven years and six months in prison for methamphetamine trafficking and misdemeanor battery.

Cody Soto

Soto, 27, was charged Oct. 8, 2013, with trafficking a controlled substance, a second-degree felony, on allegations he sold a confidential police informant methamphetamine on April 17, 2013, at a residence on North Light Plant Road.

Soto was already in police custody when the trafficking offense was charged. He had been arrested in August 2013 on allegations he murdered 27-year-old Brandy Robinson, whose body was found June 22, 2013, dumped in a remote location near the Bisti Highway.

Soto, who was Robinson's ex-boyfriend, also was charged with misdemeanor battery and false imprisonment on accusations he attacked Robinson at a residence in Bloomfield nine days before the murder.

A jury failed to reach a verdict on the murder charge after a two-week trial in the spring, and the state dismissed the case against Soto on June 15.

Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln of the San Juan County Sheriff's Office confirmed today detectives still consider Soto a suspect in the murder, which remains under investigation.

Soto pleaded guilty to trafficking and misdemeanor battery offenses on July 27 in an agreement with the state. The false imprisonment charge was dismissed as part of the agreement.

He further admitted in the plea agreement that he had been convicted in Arizona of aggravated assault with sexual motivation, a felony offense that extended the maximum prison sentence he faced by one year.

Assistant District Attorney David Cowen said today Soto faced 10 years and 364 days in prison at Wednesday's sentencing hearing. He said he believed the plea agreement was fair, and it was accepted by Brandy Robinson's family.

Cowen said Soto will receive credit for the time he has served in prison since his arrest.

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