2018 Farmington homicide to be featured on 'Murder Tapes' TV series
Television episode is set to air on the night of Feb. 5
- The Murder Tapes TV series will feature the 2018 homicide of 28-year-old Steven Begay by then 17-year-old Trustin Begay.
- The television production company filmed in Farmington last fall.
- Cheyenne Begay, Steven's sister, was interviewed along with Steven's maternal grandmother Lena Johnson-Yazzie.
FARMINGTON — The family of a man stabbed to death by a Farmington teen in 2018 hopes an episode of a true crime television series will shine a light on the relatively light sentence they believe the defendant received.
The murder of 28-year-old Steven Begay is the focus of the second season premiere of The Murder Tapes, on the Investigation Discovery channel. The show is set to air at 9 p.m. EST on Feb. 5.
The series focuses on using every conceivable form of video footage involved in a homicide to detail the investigation and apprehension of the suspect, according to a series description provided by Investigation Discovery.
The episode is about the April 6, 2018, killing of Steven by then 17-year-old Trustin Begay in the area of the Westside Estates Parks near the intersection of Robin Avenue and Piedras Street in west Farmington.
There is no relation between Trustin and Steven.
Trustin was convicted by a jury of voluntary manslaughter on June 13, 2019, and sentenced to two years in a youth detention center on June 20, according to The Daily Times archives.
He was sentenced as a juvenile under the New Mexico Children's Code.
The show uses body-camera footage from the initial call police received about the incident to footage from cameras inside the Farmington Police Department to detail the investigation into Steven's death to the eventual confession from Trustin.
Investigation Discovery provided The Daily Times an advanced copy of the episode to review.
Interviews were conducted in the September and October with members of Steven's family and law enforcement investigators.
Cheyenne Begay, Steven's sister, was interviewed along with Steven's maternal grandmother Lena Johnson-Yazzie, Cheyenne told The Daily Times.
They were both in the Farmington District Court room as Trustin was sentenced in Steven's death.
Cheyenne believes the justice system failed her brother and wanted the public to learn of the laws she believe protect minors who commit heinous crimes.
"Because of his age, he basically got away with murder," Cheyenne Begay said.
Steven spent a lot of time traveling across the county working as a carpenter, but when he came home, he would devote all of his time to his nieces and nephews, Cheyenne said.
Photos and videos shown during the show depict Steven goofing around with his younger relatives.
Multiple members of the Farmington Police Department are interviewed, including detectives Kenny Smith, Rachel Discenza-Smith and officer Steven Boitano, the first person at the scene of the fatal stabbing.
Police Spokesperson Nicole Brown told The Daily Times Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe thought participating in the show would highlight the professional work of their detectives, which doesn't usually get discussed.
"This case was solved within 24 hours," Brown said. "We wanted to highlight how professional (detectives) handled it."
Crews spent about a week at the police department conducting interviews and filming B-roll, supporting shots such as investigators reviewing cell phone footage.
The department spoke to Steven's family before agreeing to the production, checking to see if they were on board with participating in the TV show.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.
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