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DA's office wants a no-bond hold for homicide suspect

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FARMINGTON — A Farmington man faces homicide charges after allegedly driving while drunk and killing a woman by hitting her with his pickup truck.

Jasper Sala, 26, is accused of killing Valerie Foster in the early hours of June 16 in Farmington, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Foster's age and city of residence are not listed in the affidavit. Farmington Police Department spokesperson Nicole Brown said the woman was 23-years-old.

Sala is accused of a second-degree felony count of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, a third-degree felony of knowingly leaving the scene of an accident along with misdemeanor counts of duty to give information and render aid and immediate notice of accidents, according to the criminal complaint.

The defendant did not have legal representation on the afternoon of June 18.

A Farmington Police Department officer was dispatched around 1:50 a.m. on June 16 to the area of Bloomfield Highway and Reagan Street on reports of a vehicle collision, according to court documents.

A shoe was found about 30 feet away from Foster's body, which was found in the roadway.

Debris from an older model Chevrolet Pickup truck was found around the victim. An amber-colored lens from a Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck was found in the debris at the scene.

Around 5 a.m., a white Chevrolet pickup truck was found abandoned in the area of Hood Mesa Trail and Lions Trail in Farmington. The vehicle had damage that appeared to be consistent with the vehicle debris at the scene of the homicide.

A shipping label in the vehicle led police to Sala's residence in Farmington, where his wife said she hadn't been able to contact him since June 15.

Sala was found around 8:04 a.m. in the area of Hood Mesa Trail and Pinon Hills Boulevard.

In an interview with police, he admitted to drinking alcohol on June 15 in Counselor and said he blacked out. He said he woke up in Farmington and his vehicle was not running, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. His eyes were bloodshot and watery, and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was emitting from him, the document stated.

No blood alcohol content was listed in the affidavit. 

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed a motion on June 17 to hold Sala at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center without bond.

A hearing on that motion is set for June 22 in Aztec District 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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