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Farmington shooting suspect hires attorney, avoids arrest on warrant

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The man accused of punching three people in the face with brass knuckles and later shooting one of them in the left leg with a revolver had his arrest warrant quashed, allowing him to avoid being arrested and booked into the county jail.

Matthew Gallegos, 23, of Farmington, is charged with four, third-degree felony counts of aggravated battery and a fourth-degree felony count of tampering with evidence.

An arrest warrant was issued for Gallegos on Oct. 15. Court records show he retained attorney Arlon Stoker to represent him.

Stoker told The Daily Times his client did not intend to shoot anyone and is looking forward to his day in court.

Stoker filed court documents to waive Gallegos' first appearance in Farmington Magistrate Court and to quash the arrest warrant on Oct. 16.

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office did not oppose Stoker's court filing and Farmington Magistrate Court Judge Pat Cordell approved the court filings. Gallegos will not be arrested and booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, unless he violates the conditions of his release in the future.

Court documents state that Gallegos initially approached the victims in the early morning hours of Oct. 3 because they were being loud, and he told them his children were sleeping.

After Gallegos allegedly struck them with the brass knuckles, one of the victims allegedly threw a rock through the defendant's window.

Gallegos is accused of retrieving his revolver and firing four to five shots at the group.

 An artery in the gunshot victim's leg was severed, requiring surgery.

The defendant's preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Oct. 28 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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