Man killed by police released from jail after contesting bond
Wilson was released on a $25,000 unsecured appearance bond following a hearing on Aug. 2
FARMINGTON — The man killed by law enforcement Sunday in Farmington was released from the county jail earlier this month after contesting his $20,000 cash-only bond during a hearing where the district attorney's office requested he remain in custody.
New details about the shooting were released in a New Mexico State Police press release this afternoon.
William Wilson, 26, was killed by gunshots fired by a state police officer and a San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy around 9:30 a.m. Sunday during a traffic stop at the Citizens Bank branch at 4220 Hudson St.
Wilson was a passenger in a white Ford pickup truck pulled over by the deputy who suspected the vehicle might be linked to a "recent string of burglaries" in San Juan County, according to the press release.
The state police officer responded to the traffic stop to provide backup.
The driver, 42-year-old Terry Joplin, and a second passenger, 21-year-old Kaytlynn Arnold, were arrested at the scene.
Arnold had a warrant for contempt of court and Joplin had two warrants for failure to appear and failure to pay fines, according to the press release.
Wilson was asked to exit the vehicle by the officer to continue speaking to him. The state police officer then placed handcuffs on Wilson at the front of Wilson's body.
Wilson then retrieved a gun and fired one shot into the upper-left part of the officer's chest that went into his badge. A .357 magnum revolver was recovered at the scene.
The bullet was lodged in the officer's badge and did not penetrate his bullet-proof vest, according to the press release.
The state police officer and the deputy fired an unknown number of shots at Wilson, striking him numerous times.
The names of the officer and deputy have not been released, as the incident is still under investigation.
Wilson was pronounced dead at the scene after sustaining fatal gunshot wounds, according to the press release.
The officer was transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
Wilson had a pending case in the district court at the time of his death.
He was accused of 16 felony charges including an aggravated burglary (armed after entering), larceny (over $2,500 but not more than $20,000) and 12 counts of possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, according to court records.
He also has six felony convictions in New Mexico including residential burglary, possession of a firearm as a felon and possession of a controlled substance according to court records.
He was accused of entering a home on County Road 4865 on or around March 29, 2015, and stealing items including 12 firearms, about 7,500 rounds of ammunition, a jar of quarters worth about $500, a touchscreen desktop computer and a 32-inch flat screen television, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Multiple rifles and shotguns were among the firearms allegedly stolen.
Gurnee Graham, Wilson's public defender, did not respond to requests for comment.
The charges were filed on April 6 in Aztec Magistrate Court.
The charges were issued after a detective for the sheriff's office received a letter from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety stating a DNA sample obtained from a can of Dr. Pepper found at the scene matched a DNA sample from Wilson, according to court documents.
Wilson was incarcerated at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces at the time.
He wrote a motion on May 8 to reduce his then $200,000 cash-only bond and request transportation to San Juan County so he can seek a bond reduction and start the case process, according to court documents.
He was booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on May 25.
During a July 24 arraignment, Wilson pleaded not guilty to the charges in district court.
Gurnee filed a motion on July 26 to relieve Wilson from the requirement of posting a bond or set a hearing to address his conditions of release, according to court documents.
The motion stated Wilson was being held on a $20,000 cash-only bond and that he was "indigent" and unable to post the bail.
It also stated Wilson was a long-time resident of San Juan County with family ties to the community and there was no indication he was a flight risk.
A hearing on the motion took place on Aug. 2 where the prosecution told Judge John Dean Jr. the DA's office recommended Wilson remain in custody, but understood how that would be problematic, according to a review of an audio recording of the hearing.
Earlier in the hearing, the prosecution told Judge Dean the court has to decide what conditions to release Wilson on.
The prosecution also told the judge that Wilson had a substantial criminal history that started when he was juvenile, according to court documents.
Dustin O’Brien, San Juan County Chief deputy district attorney, told The Daily Times no motion was filed by the district attorney's office to hold Wilson without bond because he was already in custody on the $25,000 cash-only bond.
Judge Dean released Wilson on a $25,000 unsecured appearance bond during the Aug. 2 hearing with several conditions of release, according to court documents.
Some of the conditions included requiring Wilson to wear a GPS monitor, releasing him into the custody of his mother and requiring him to not leave his mother's residence between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to a copy of the judge's order.
During the press conference Sunday, San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen called the new rules a "catch and release" system that releases violent offenders back on to the street.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.
Note: This story was corrected to clarify a court interaction. A review of an audio recording of a hearing on Aug. 2 in Aztec District Court shows the prosecution told Judge John Dean Jr. that their recommendation was that Wilson remain in custody, but he understood how that would be problematic. Earlier in the hearing, the prosecutiontold Judge Dean the court has to decide what conditions to release Wilson on. The error happened because the Daily Times incorrectly referenced a court document as a transcript when the court document was actually a series of notes that serves as an index to the audio recording of the hearing.