Kirtland man accused of attacking, strangling man
Suspect charged with kidnapping, aggravated battery and criminal trespass
FARMINGTON — A Kirtland man is accused of attacking another man at the victim's home, dragging him into his yard and strangling him until he lost consciousness, perhaps because of an alleged debt.
Sterling Silversmith, 30, is accused of various charges including kidnapping, aggravated battery, criminal trespass and criminal damage to property, according to court records.
Deputies for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office were dispatched around 1:50 p.m. on Sept. 19 to a home on County Road 5580 on Crouch Mesa in response to reports of a fight, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
The victim told police Silversmith attacked him while he was working on a closet in his residence.
Kristin Harrington, Silversmith's attorney, declined comment.
The victim was painting a closet when Silversmith rushed him and slammed him into a wall, causing about $1,000 in damage, according to court documents.
The victim believed Silversmith attacked him because the victim owed the alleged attacker $100.
Silversmith allegedly dragged the victim out of his home into the yard and started striking him with a metal rod until the rod started to fall apart.
The victim told police Silversmith threw the rod on the ground, grabbed him by the neck, started to strangle him and then dragged him across the driveway, according to court documents.
The victim lost consciousness while allegedly being straggled by Silversmith.
Silversmith allegedly left the scene in a green SUV.
Some of the victim's injuries included some "road rash" on his back, scratches on his back and redness on his neck that deputies believed were consistent being strangled.
A female witness told police she saw and heard portions of the fight, including Silversmith allegedly strangling the victim.
Silversmith was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond following his first appearance Friday in Aztec Magistrate Court, according to court records.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.