Judge orders man accused of abuse in drowning death of son to stay in San Juan county jail

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Chief District Court Judge Curtis Gurley ordered Jaden Ortega's conditions of release be revoked during Sept. 14 hearing in Aztec District Court.
  • Ortega has been held at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center since Aug. 31.
  • Gurley’s motion stated Ortega “blatantly” disregarded his conditions of release and defied the court’s order to stay in touch with his attorney.

FARMINGTON — A man accused of child abuse in the drowning death of his toddler son will remain in the county jail because a judge revoked his release after he was accused of an attempted murder.

A district court judge found Jaden Ortega blatantly disregarded court orders and willingly violated his conditions of release in a child abuse case where is accused of letting his 1-year-old son Santo Ortega drown to death in a bathtub.

Chief District Court Judge Curtis Gurley ordered Jaden’s conditions of release be revoked during a Sept. 14 hearing in Aztec District Court and filed an order on Sept. 17 about his decision, according to court documents.

More:Police still seeking suspect accused of attempted murder in July 20 drive-by shooting

Jaden has been held at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center since Aug. 31.

The judge's order addressed two pending cases in which Jaden is accused. 

The defendant was charged on March 24 in the Feb. 4 death of Santo in Farmington with a first-degree felony count of reckless abuse of a child (results in death). 

He allegedly left the child unattended in a bathtub while he was asleep in another room.

Jaden and co-defendant Samuel Stevens were charged on Aug. 26 with multiple felony charges for an alleged drive-by shooting at the intersection of County Road 3100 and 350 on the night of July 20.

One woman was shot in one of her ankles as the men allegedly tried to shoot the male driver. Court records indicate the pair believed the driver if that vehicle had "snitched" to law enforcement about Jaden's relative.

Thomas Clark, Jaden’s attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O’Brien told The Daily Times it’s the right decision, adding Jaden has proved himself to be a dangerous man.

Farmington man accused of child abuse in drowning death of his toddler son

The Sept. 14 hearing took place after the district attorney’s office filed a Sept. 1 motion alleging Jaden violated his conditions of release in the child abuse case due to his alleged involvement in the July 20 vehicle shooting.

A defendant’s conditions of release are the terms the accused agrees to abide by in order to be released from jail while awaiting a jury trial.

The prosecution also alleged Jaden failed to appear for a court hearing on a separate felony drug case and that he was arrested for in Bernalillo County during a time when he was not allowed to leave San Juan County, according to the motion.

Gurley’s motion stated Jaden “blatantly” disregarded his conditions of release and defied the court’s order to stay in touch with his attorney.

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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