New arrest warrant issued for Arizona woman accused of killing Bloomfield man
The failure to appear warrant was filed on Oct. 21.
- Khadjha Keams, 24, of Window Rock, Arizona, is accused of second-degree murder, a fourth-degree felony count of vehicle theft and a misdemeanor count of larceny.
- Seventy-six-year-old Gilbert Benavidez died from an infection from head injuries Keams allegedly caused.
- Anyone with additional information about the case should call non-emergency dispatch at 505-334-6622.
FARMINGTON — An Arizona woman accused of causing a Bloomfield man's death in 2017 has a new warrant issued for her arrest after her GPS monitor battery died and she failed to appear at a hearing regarding her non-compliance with Pre-Trial Services.
Khadjha Keams, 24, of Window Rock, Arizona, is accused of second-degree murder, a fourth-degree felony count of vehicle theft and a misdemeanor count of larceny.
She is accused of battering 76-year-old Gilbert Benavidez, of Bloomfield, on April 4, 2017, then stealing his vehicle. The San Juan County Sheriff's Office learned on Aug. 4, 2017, that Benavidez had died from an infection stemming from his head injuries, according to The Daily Times archives.
The defendant was charged in the murder case on March 13, 2018, one day after sheriff's office detectives interviewed her at the McKinley County Adult Detention Center in Gallup.
Keams told detectives Benavidez had picked her up in his vehicle, purchased beer then drove to his residence. She added she "snapped" and struck Benavidez with a drill or screwdriver while at the residence.
He was later found bleeding from the head and unconscious.
The defendant is also accused of stealing Benavidez's 2014 white Buick Verano and abandoning it on the Navajo reservation.
Keams was arrested on April 3, 2018, by members of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to hold her without bond pending trial.
Chief District Court Judge Karen Townsend granted the state's motion during an April 10, 2018, hearing in Aztec District Court.
Court documents show Keams was released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on May 21 into the Pre-Trial Services program.
District Court Judge Daylene Marsh signed an order on March 1 to release Keams into the Pre-Trial Services program, according to San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien.
Keams was on level 4 supervision and was required to wear a GPS monitor with an 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew.
Keams had her first notice of alleged violation of her conditions of release on Aug. 1.
Pre-Trial Services received a notice that she left her residence at 12:05 a.m., went to Northern Edge Casino for nearly three hours then stayed at a residence in Upper Fruitland until about 7:30 a.m.
When she reported to the office later that day, she tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine and admitted to using meth.
Her warrant stems from missing an Oct. 21 hearing regarding a second alleged violation of her conditions of release.
The report states the office on Oct. 12 received a device tamper alert around 3:40 a.m. and it was unable to get in contact with the defendant. The battery on the device died on Oct. 13 around 7:22 p.m.
A relative stated she believed Keams may have been drinking alcohol and was possibly involved in a possible aggravated battery, and that she might be in Window Rock.
Anyone with additional information about the case can call non-emergency dispatch at 505-334-6622 or San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 505-334-8477 or visit www.sjccrimestoppers.org and click on the "submit anonymous tip here" button on the website.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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