Hearing set for Aztec man charged in shooting

Noel Lyn Smith

FARMINGTON — An Aztec man charged last week with attempted second-degree murder will have a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday in Aztec Magistrate Court.

Jacob Nelson

Jacob Nelson, 28, was charged with attempted second-degree murder on Oct. 12 after allegedly firing several rounds at another Aztec resident, according to a press release from the Aztec Police Department.

He was also charged with tampering with evidence, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to court records.

Nelson remained in custody today at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

According to the Oct. 14 criminal complaint, Aztec police officers were dispatched at approximately 9:57 p.m. on Oct. 12 to the area of Fairgrounds Road and North Church Avenue in Aztec after receiving reports of shots being fired.

When officers arrived at the scene, they were advised a man was involved and may have run to 415 Bunker Ave., the complaint states. Officers visited the residence and noticed a man fitting the description of the suspect standing near the front window of the house, according to the complaint.

One of the officers knocked on the front door and spoke to one of the residents, Misty Eaton, who stated she heard gunshots. Eaton agreed to let officers inside to look around the house, the complaint states.

As one of the officers entered the kitchen, he saw a male, who was later identified as Nelson, standing in the kitchen, according to the complaint. Nelson was asked to step outside to talk to an officer about the incident.

In the meantime, officers searched for weapons inside the home and found a gun in the kitchen, according to the complaint.

During an interview with police, Eaton said she heard gunshots and saw Nelson run into the house.

Nelson told police he had gone to a 7-2-11 convenience store to buy cigarettes and had seen a large group of people near the store. He said he spoke to the individuals, but they started to "group up," so he walked away and went toward Fairgrounds Road and Bunker Avenue, the complaint states.

Nelson said as he was walking away, he noticed the group was following him, so he turned around and told them he did not want problems. According to the complaint, he continued walking, then heard gunshots.

An officer came into contact with the alleged victim, who was not named in the complaint, who told police a male matching Nelson’s description had pulled a handgun and pointed it at him, then had asked if the victim wanted to die. The victim said he turned and ran then heard multiple gunshots in his direction.

During the investigation on Fairgrounds Road, police found six used shell casings on the street close to the back of 415 Bunker Ave., and the casings were similar to those found inside the residence, according to the complaint.

The complaint states Nelson initially consented to a gunshot residue test of his hands but later refused.

In a separate incident on Oct. 1, Nelson was arrested by deputies from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and charged with possession of firearm or destructive device by a felon; tampering with evidence, drug paraphernalia and negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.