Men plead guilty to burglary, robbery charges

The three men burglarized the home of two elderly women

Joshua Kellogg
Cory Redding

FARMINGTON — Three Fruitland men have pleaded guilty to charges related to an armed robbery and home invasion of two elderly women near Kirtland last year.

Cory Redding, 20; Jacob Sandoval, 18; and Dillon Smith, 19, pleaded guilty on April 10 in district court to two second-degree felonies for armed robbery and aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon, according to court documents.

It was a part of a plea agreement with the San Juan County District Attorney's Office, according to assistant district attorney Dustin O'Brien. Each charge carries a sentence of up to nine years in prison.

Three additional felony charges for false imprisonment, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and tampering with evidence were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Jacob Sandoval

Attempts by The Daily Times to contact attorneys for Sandoval, Redding and Smith were unsuccessful.

The three men initially entered not-guilty pleas during a May 9 hearing in district court.

During the April 10 change of plea hearing, they admitted to the burglary, according to court documents.

Sandoval and Redding entered the home in the 700 block of County Road 6100 on April 10, 2016, with a metal baton and air-powered pistol while Smith served as a lookout, according to court documents. They threatened the elderly women in the residence and combed through the house, looking for goods.

Dillon Smith

Before they left the home, they ordered one of the women to lie face down on a bed while they escaped. Both women were using oxygen tanks, and one required the use of a wheelchair.

Detectives for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at Redding's home and found jewelry and money belonging to the women, according to The Daily Times archives.

O'Brien described the plea agreement as "good resolution" to prevent the victims from having to go through three separate trials while still requiring the defendants to take responsibility for their actions.

The men were not sentenced during the change of plea hearing.

They will be sent to the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas for a 60-day presentence diagnostic, according to court documents. The diagnostic was requested by the DA's Office because the three men did not have a criminal record, according to O'Brien.

He added it will give the court an idea of why the men committed the crime before sentencing.

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