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Albuquerque woman accused of eighth DWI for driving drunk with child

Five-year-old child found unsecured in vehicle

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Verdeana Harrison, 56, is accused of a second-degree felony count of aggravated DWI and a third-degree felony count of attempted child abuse.
  • Audio logs notes from a March 25 hearing said seven alcohol shooters were found in the vehicle.
  • The defendant's preliminary hearing is set for the morning of April 22 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

FARMINGTON — An Albuquerque woman is sitting in the county jail after being arrested for her eighth DWI and second child abuse charge for allegedly driving drunk with an unsecured minor in the vehicle.

Verdeana Harrison, 56, is accused of a second-degree felony count of aggravated DWI and a third-degree felony count of attempted child abuse, according to the criminal complaint.

Other charges include alleged resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, operating a vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock, driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle, failure to obey traffic control devices and child not properly restrained in vehicle.

Steve Murphy, Harrison's attorney, said he hasn't received any of the evidence in the case and his office was investigating the case.

Farmington Police Department officers responded around 7:48 p.m. on March 16 to the Walmart at 4600 E. Main St. on report of a possible DWI, according to the probable cause statement.

Verdeana Harrison

The woman, later identified as Harrison, was observed looking for her vehicle with a small child.

Harrison allegedly got into a gold SUV and drove off toward East Main Street.

When the officer arrived on scene, Harrison was getting food in the McDonald's drive thru and yelling at employees.

The probable cause statement describes how the officer followed Harrison around the parking lots of the Walmart and the Best Western Plus before she parked in the Target parking lot.

The defendant allegedly traveled at a high rate of speed and was making jerky movements before the officer made contact.

The officer approached Harrison said he saw an empty vodka shooter on the floorboard. Audio logs notes from a March 25 hearing said seven alcohol shooters were found in the vehicle.

A heavy odor of alcohol emitted from Harrison's breath as she had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech, according to the complaint.

She swayed back and forth while standing up, according to court document, and admitted to drinking "a couple of vodka shots" before driving. She refused field sobriety tests.

Her blood alcohol content was 0.17. The legal limit in New Mexico is 0.08.

The child said he was five-years-old. He was not secured in a seat belt or proper child restraints.

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to hold Harrison in jail without bond while awaiting trial.

District Court Judge Curtis Gurley held a hearing on March 25 in Aztec District Court on the motion and has not ruled on the matter, according to court records.

The defendant's preliminary hearing is set for the morning of April 22 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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