Bloomfield man acquitted of aggravated assault

Larry Dunsworth, 59, was acquitted on March 28 after a two-day jury trial in Aztec District Court with Judge John Dean Jr. presiding.

Joshua Kellogg

FARMINGTON — A Bloomfield man has been found not guilty of aggravated assault in relation to an alleged robbery at the Farmington Flea Market.


Larry Dunsworth, 59, was acquitted on March 28 after a two-day jury trial in Aztec District Court with Judge John Dean Jr. presiding, according to court records.

Mark Curnutt, Dunsworth's attorney, said he felt the jury came to the right decision based on the evidence presented by the San Juan County District Attorney's Office and the testimony of witnesses.

The charge was filed against Dunsworth on May 25 after he and his son Baxter Dunsworth were arrested on March 26 on suspicion of robbing a vendor at the flea market, according to Daily Times archives.

Deputies for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office responded to the flea market after receiving a report from a vendor that two men allegedly threatened him and one of the men allegedly pulled a gun on him.

The vendor told deputies the son attempted to stab him and he responded by pointing a gun at the son. Larry Dunsworth responded by showing the vendor his gun.

Curnutt said the father was defending his son and showed his gun to deter the vendor from using his firearm.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien described the case as a situation where the facts were difficult to apply to state law.

He said the district attorneys had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the father did not act in self defense and in defense of another person.

O'Brien said he believed the district attorneys presented facts that proved the elder Dunsworth was the aggressor in the incident.

However, he added that state law does not take into consideration whether a defendant instigated an incident if the defendant believed he or she was acting in defense of another person.

The jury and the judge ruled properly in accordance with state law, according to O'Brien.

Baxter Dunsworth is facing a third-degree aggravated battery charge and is set for a two-day jury trial on April 12 in Aztec District Court, according to court records.

Curnutt said it was "factually strange case" where multiple weapons were presented in a public place and he was thankful no one was hurt.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.