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Man pleads guilty to battery, robbery charges

Orlando Johnson changed his not-guilty plea to a guilty plea during an April 20 hearing

Joshua Kellogg
jkellogg@daily-times.com
Orlando Johnson
  • As a result of his plea agreement, seven charges against Johnson were dropped.
  • A sentencing hearing for Johnson is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday in Aztec District Court.
  • More than $2,000 in items were taken from a Fruitland home in the incident.

FARMINGTON — A Shiprock man has pleaded guilty to two felony charges as part of a plea agreement following a battery and robbery at a home near Fruitland.

Orlando Johnson, 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree armed robbery and fourth-degree false imprisonment charges in district court on April 20, according to court records. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges during a Dec. 1 hearing.

Johnson, along with Cherlyncia Ann Begay, 33, initially drew nine felony charges on Oct. 12, including aggravated battery, larceny, aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, according to court records.

As part of the plea agreement, Johnson's remaining seven charges will be dropped, according to court documents.

Mark Curnutt, Johnson's attorney, did not respond to requests for comment.

The plea agreement was offered to Johnson because he took responsibility for the incident when interviewed by the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, according to San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien. He added Johnson gave a full statement to police about what he did.

Johnson is scheduled for a sentencing hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Aztec District Court.

The armed robbery charge carries a maximum sentence of nine years, and the false imprisonment charge carries a maximum of 18 months, according to the plea agreement.

Johnson and Begay were arrested after a man reported he was struck in the head, attacked and then tied up on Oct. 11 at a home near County Road 6686. The victim suffered significant lacerations to his faced that resulted in a broken nose, stitches and a deviated septum, according to the arrest warrant.

More than $2,000 in items were stolen from the house, including a rifle, a 50-inch television, and Playstation 4 and Nintendo Wii video game consoles, according to court documents.

Begay also pleaded not guilty to the charges during a Nov. 21 hearing, according to court records. She has a pretrial conference scheduled for June 19 followed by a two-day jury trial starting July 19.

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