Both incidents took place in Farmington

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FARMINGTON — Two suspects in separate cases each are accused of their seventh DWI charge after being arrested by Farmington police this month.

Eva Herder, 54, of Farmington, and Curtis Charley, 33, of Shiprock, each face a third-degree felony count of DWI, according to court records.

Herder is accused of driving while intoxicated on Jan. 9 and was arrested in the back parking lot of the Navajo Trading Company at 116 E. Main St. in Farmington, according to the probable cause statement.

Ruth Wilson, Herder's public defender, declined comment.

Officers for the Farmington Police Department were dispatched to the Navajo Trading Company around 1:25 p.m. on Jan. 9 on a report of a drunk driver.

Herder was found at the location in the driver's seat of a white passenger car. An officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol beverage emitting from the vehicle and observed Herder with bloodshot and watery eyes, according to the probable cause statement.

Herder told the officer she had just driven from a friend's house a few blocks away and had her mother in the front passenger seat. The mother told the officer her daughter drove to the store drunk and had been drinking alcohol before they drove to the business, the probable cause statement says.

During a field sobriety test, Herder told the officer she couldn't stand on one leg because of her level of intoxication, according to the document. She was arrested following the test and had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.23 and 0.24. The legal limit in New Mexico for driving is 0.08.

Herder waived her preliminary hearing in Farmington Magistrate Court Wednesday morning. She was being held without bond today pending trial at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

Court documents state she has six prior convictions for DWI, the most recent of which was in 2004.

Charley was arrested after officers were dispatched to the parking lot of the Animas Valley Mall at 4601 E. Main St. around 12:33 p.m. on Jan. 13 on a report of a motor vehicle collision, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

A green passenger car was found high centered on a large snow bank in the mall parking lot, and Charley was in the passenger seat of the vehicle. According to the probable cause statement, Charley told an officer that his brother had been driving the vehicle and had gone into the mall.

Officers identified Charley's father as the owner of the vehicle and contacted him. Chester Charley told officers his son was the driver and that Curtis Charley's brother was home with him in Shiprock, the probable cause statement says.

The suspect allegedly changed his story several times, telling the officer he was a passenger, then telling him he was the driver. Charley also told the officer he had consumed a pint of vodka earlier in the day, according to the statement.

A field sobriety test was performed, and Charley was arrested for the alleged DWI and for failure to comply, warrant issued for a pending DWI case in Aztec District Court. Police said his blood-alcohol content was 0.15.

Sarah Field, Charley's public defender, said District Judge John Dean Jr. ordered Charley held without bond, which will give her and her client the opportunity to look into the allegations. She also said Charley would be able to access necessary treatment for alcohol and substance abuse.

Charley has three pending cases for DWI, including the Jan. 13 arrest, according to court documents. His most recent case is set for a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Charley was incarcerated today on a no-bond hold at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

Court documents state this is his seventh DWI charge.

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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