Farmington man accused of branding teen with machete during camping trip

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – An area man is accused of severely injuring a teenage boy by branding him with a machete during a camping trip earlier this year. Relatives did not report the incident to law enforcement. 

Jon Dayish, 39, is accused of causing great bodily harm to a 13-year-old boy on May 25 in the area of Cutter Dam near Blanco, according to court documents. 

The defendant is charged with a first-degree felony count of child abuse and a third-degree felony count of aggravated battery, according to the criminal complaint. 

Dayish did not have a city of residence listed on his court documents. 

Sarah Field, Dayish’s attorney, did not respond to requests for comment by deadline.

A San Juan County Sheriff’s Office detective on Sept. 30 became involved with an investigation into Dayish’s alleged crimes. 

The investigation was launched after a New Mexico Children, Youth and Family Department case worker received a distributing photo of the teen’s injuries.

Jon Dayish

The detective was able to organize a safehouse interview with the victim on Oct. 15. 

He told the detective he went camping with Dayish at Cutter Dam on May 25, stopping along the way for him to purchase alcohol. 

While the two were camping, Dayish had consumed multiple alcoholic beverages.

The teen said Dayish became very angry, grabbed the machete and placed it in the fire. From there, Dayish is accused of repeatedly burning the teen with the machete.

The victim broke down crying as he detailed how Dayish branded him with the machete. 

Later on during the camping trip, the teen ran away from Dayish and eventually returned to the residence of his legal guardians. 

The detective on Oct. 15 took photos of the victim’s scarring on his back. The scars varied from one to seven inches long and about one to two inches wide. 

The male and female relative who had custody of the victim at the time of the alleged incident were interviewed on Sept. 30.

The female relative said on May 26 she took photos and treated the teen’s injuries but did not call law enforcement.

The male relative told a deputy it was not up to him to call law enforcement, putting the responsibility on the teen to call police.

The male relative told the victim if he called law enforcement, the teen would break up the family and Dayish would probably end up in prison, according to court documents.

The detective submitted a "statement of reasonable grounds" for CYFD to take temporary protective custody of the teen. 

The affidavit states the detective believed the male relative was more concerned about the family having a falling out than the safety of the teen.

The teen had new legal guardians when the Oct. 15 interview was conducted.

Dayish was booked on Oct. 21 into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, then released on Oct. 23.

His preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Nov. 12 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

Contact Josh Kellogg via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.