Inmate charged in fight over racial slur

Roman Williams told police Jordan Carter called him a racial slur while the inmates were watching a news program on the police shooting of a black man, according to an arrest warrant affidavit

Steve Garrison
Roman Marcus Williams

FARMINGTON — An inmate at the county jail made an initial court appearance today on allegations he put another inmate in the hospital over the use of a racial slur.

Roman Marcus Williams was charged Friday in Aztec Magistrate Court with aggravated battery, great bodily harm, a third-degree felony.

Williams, 29, of Ignacio, Colo., was being held at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on robbery and resisting arrest charges. His new bond is set at $20,000.

Williams' attorney, Tyson Quail, could not be reached for comment today.

A deputy with the San Juan County Sheriff's Office was dispatched at 1:18 p.m. Wednesday to the jail at 871 Andrea Drive after receiving reports of a fight, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The deputy watched surveillance video footage from the incident, which showed Williams and Jordan Carter seated together at a lunch table in the jail's cafeteria, the affidavit states.

The footage showed Williams turn in his lunch tray and then repeatedly punch Carter while he was seated at the table, according to the affidavit.

Carter, who is jailed on allegations he reached for a gun during a July traffic stop by a Farmington police officer, was transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center for treatment, the affidavit states.

Carter said he did not remember what happened, according to the affidavit.

Williams, who is black, told the deputy Carter called him a racial slur several times while the inmates were watching a news program on the police shooting of a black man.

He told the deputy that Carter said the racial epithet loudly to provoke him, the affidavit states.

Williams is scheduled to appear at a preliminary examination hearing on Oct. 6.

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