Father faces 2 battery charges for allegedly choking wife

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FARMINGTON — The San Juan County District Attorney's Office is not pursuing charges against a juvenile accused of shooting his father during a domestic dispute.

Officers for the Bloomfield Police Department were dispatched around 11:57 a.m. on Jan. 20 to a residence in the 1900 block of Trujillo Lane on a report of a father and mother getting into an argument and their son shooting his father, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said based on the information in the arrest warrant affidavit, the office would not pursue a case against the juvenile.

When the officers entered the residence, they found Steven Mortensen, 37, lying on his back with his wife pressing a rag over his stomach over a gunshot wound.

He was transported him to the San Juan Regional Medical Center. He was treated and released from the hospital, according to hospital spokeswoman Roberta Rogers.

Mortensen is charged with a third-degree felony count of aggravated battery and a misdemeanor count of battery, according to the criminal complaint.

The charges stem from two alleged incidents of Mortensen choking his wife on Jan. 19-20, according to Bloomfield police Det. Orlando Moreno.

On the day of the shooting, the couple had an argument around 11:45 a.m. when Mortensen allegedly grabbed his wife and threw her on the ground. Mortensen is accused of climbing on top of his wife and choking her.

She told police he punched her in the head, then she kicked him off her. She added she went to the garage to get a metal tee-ball bat and entered the residence.

The 16-year-old son followed his mother into the residence.

While Mortensen allegedly refused requests from his wife to stop approaching her, she told police her son appeared with a handgun in his hand.

The affidavit states Mortensen allegedly started moving toward his son when his son fired one round from the handgun. The wife then tended to Mortensen's injuries while the son called 911.

The mother told police Mortensen and their children have been involved in physical altercations in the past, and the couple had been involved in about 20 physical altercations.

During an interview with police, the son said his father and mother were fighting over the bat in the residence when he pulled the handgun out and told his father to leave.

The son told police his father started coming toward him, and he pulled the trigger but only heard a click because the safety was on.

He added his father heard the click of the gun but kept advancing when the son released the safety and fired the handgun.

Mortensen was interviewed on Jan. 22 while recovering at the hospital.

He told police he took the bat away from his wife, and when he turned around, he saw his son with the handgun. He added his son shot him within seconds of him noticing the handgun.

Moreno said Friday Mortensen had not been arrested, and the warrant was still active.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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