Serrano sentenced to 10 years on murder charge
Defendant will get credit for time served at county jail
AZTEC — Timothy Serrano was sentenced to 10 years in prison during a sentencing hearing today in Aztec District Court for multiple convictions, including murder in the second degree.
Serrano, 34, pleaded no contest on Oct. 16 as part of a plea agreement to three criminal charges, including the second-degree felony count of murder.
He was convicted of stabbing Dalton Ford to death in a motel room at the Rimrock Lodge at 2530 Bloomfield Highway in Farmington. Officers for the Farmington Police Department found Ford's body on Sept. 14, 2015.
Serrano was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by nine years of supervised release. He will get credit for time served at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center since he was arrested in May 2016 for the murder case.
Four statements were given by family members of Dalton Ford to Judge John Dean Jr. during the hearing.
A victim advocate read two statements on behalf of the family, who stated they believed justice was served.
During the statements, the family wrote that Dalton Ford loved his grandchildren. They said they are hoping for closure and requested the maximum sentence for Serrano.
Linda Ford-Maloy, Dalton Ford's ex-wife, read her statement to the court and a statement from a relative. Dalton Ford was described by Ford-Maloy as a great and honorable man who believed in helping people in their time of need. She asked Dean to have Serrano serve his sentences consecutively.
A 91-second video was played during the hearing that was produced by one of Dalton Ford's family members. It was a montage of video clips and photos from a trip Dalton Ford made to California to visit one of his grandchildren, Ford-Maloy said after the hearing.
Cosme Ripol, one of Serrano's attorneys, spoke to the court on his client's behalf. RIpol said Serrano acknowledged the death of Dalton Ford and the loss it caused his family.
Referring to the plea agreement, Ripol told the court that Serrano admitted no guilt with his no-contest pleas and that it would take a jury trial to find him guilty.
The plea agreement states Serrano pleaded no contest to the second-degree murder charge and fourth-degree felony charges of larceny of a firearm and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
Serrano was arrested on Aug. 28, 2015, on allegations he fled from police in a stolen vehicle. The plea agreement included both cases.
Charges including a felony count of tampering with evidence, possession of a firearm or destructive device and a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer were dismissed.
Also included in the plea agreement was the dismissal of a misdemeanor count of use or possession of drug paraphernalia filed in Aztec Magistrate Court.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.