Man charged in fatal stabbing at Berg Park East in Farmington
FARMINGTON — A 26-year-old man has been charged with an open count of homicide for allegedly fatally stabbing a man at Berg Park East Sunday evening.
Derrick Charley was arrested on a warrant and booked into the San Juan County Detention Center, according to a Farmington Police Department press release.
Charley is accused of killing 37-year-old Hector Luna-Holguin.
Farmington police officers were dispatched at approximately 6:22 p.m. Sunday to Berg Park East, 2105 River Road, on a report of a stabbing.
The area is near the Berg Bridge, a pedestrian bridge over the Animas River.
When officers arrived on scene, they found Luna-Holguin had been stabbed. He was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center and was later pronounced dead.
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The arrest warrant affidavit states Charley was detained at the scene then transported to the police station, where he was interviewed by a detective.
Charley told the detective that he and his father are homeless, and he goes to the park daily to charge his phone.
He decided to use the restroom before leaving the park and knocked on the restroom door three times in five minutes before Luna-Holguin exited.
Charley said Luna-Holguin opened the door "really slick like" then grabbed the back of his head and tried to push in him.
He described fighting with Luna-Holguin before stabbing Luna-Holguin because he was being choked.
In an interview at the hospital, Luna-Holguin's wife told a detective that the family was eating dinner at a table in the park.
She took one of their children to play at the playground and left her husband with another child at the table.
When she returned, Luna-Holguin was gone so she called him, and he explained that he was in the nearby restroom.
After about 10 minutes she saw a nearby man abruptly stand up and say that it looked like someone was in a fight.
She ran toward the restroom and saw her husband walking with another individual holding a shirt to his chest. When she got closer to her husband, he collapsed and stated that someone had stabbed him.
Charley was booked into the detention center early Monday morning, according to court records.
He had his first appearance this morning in Farmington Magistrate Court. He is being held at the detention center on a no bond hold.
His preliminary hearing is set for May 15 in Farmington Magistrate Court.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.