Inmate accused of stabbing San Juan County jail guard in neck during health clinic visit

The defendant was sentenced to nine years in prison

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Antonio Cuellar, 24, of Bloomfield, is accused of stabbing a San Juan County Adult Detention Center guard.
  • The defendant did not have legal representation on the morning of March 23.
  • Cuellar remains held at the county jail, where he has been incarcerated since Nov. 26, 2019.

FARMINGTON — A county jail inmate is accused of stabbing a jail guard multiple times in the neck with a sharpened piece of plastic while the inmate was at a Farmington health clinic.

Antonio Cuellar, 24, of Bloomfield, is accused of stabbing and attempting to rob the San Juan County Adult Detention Center guard while armed with a weapon and attempting to escape, along with resisting arrest, according to court documents.

He faces five charges, including felony counts of aggravated battery upon a peace officer, attempted armed robbery and escape or attempt to escape from jail, according to the criminal complaint.

The defendant did not have legal representation on the morning of March 23.

The Farmington Police Department was dispatched around 8:09 a.m. on March 17 to Presbyterian Medical Services Farmington Community Health Center at 1001 W. Broadway Ave. on reports of a stabbing, according to the probable cause statement.

Antonio Cuellar

The jail guard who was stabbed spoke to officers. He said Cuellar was in the restroom when he turned around while holding a sharpened piece of plastic about four inches long.

The defendant was not handcuffed, and his restraint belt was off.

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Cuellar is accused of demanding the handcuff key from the guard, then charging at the guard with the weapon and stabbing him multiple times.

Another guard went into the restroom and they were able to handcuff Cuellar.

After the bathroom incident, documents indicate that Cuellar was sitting in the waiting room when he allegedly tried to escape jail custody by fleeing the building.

The defendant briefly made it outside before he was taken into custody again.

The guard had three puncture wounds on the left side of his neck along with a three-inch laceration near his left ear. He was taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center for treatment after stating he felt nauseous.

The defendant told police he wanted an attorney and was not interviewed, according to court documents.

Cuellar was recently sentenced to nine years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections and was at the clinic receiving dental care before being transferred to the state prison system.

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He was convicted on March 16 of a second-degree felony count of kidnapping and a third-degree felony count of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, according to court documents.

Cuellar remains held at the county jail, where he has been incarcerated since Nov. 26, 2019. His preliminary hearing is set for the afternoon of March 24 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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