Local couple charged in murder-robbery near Aztec

Steve Garrison
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A local couple was charged Friday in the kidnapping and murder of a 60-year-old man at his residence near Aztec.

David Carter and Shanah Chadwick-McNally are accused of bludgeoning Gerald "Joe" Dunning to death at his home near mile marker 161 on U.S. Highway 550, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Carter, 29, was charged Friday in Aztec Magistrate Court with first-degree murder, kidnapping, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and tampering with evidence.

Chadwick-McNally, 26, was charged Friday in the same court with first-degree murder, accessory to kidnapping, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and tampering with evidence.

James Chadwick, a friend, found Dunning dead with his hands tied behind his back at approximately 9 a.m. Thursday, the affidavit states.

Chadwick said in an interview Dunning had been his best friend since 10th grade, and they went out to breakfast together almost every day.

Deputies with the San Juan County Sheriff's Office entered the residence and found Dunning's body near the foot of his bed.

Detectives note in the warrant that Carter had previously lived with Dunning at the residence, but was thrown out after an argument.

Chadwick confirmed that Carter and Chadwick-McNally, Chadwick's niece, used to live at the residence.

"He let those people that killed him live on his property for free," Chadwick said. "What do you think of that?"

A white passenger vehicle similar to one being driven by Carter was also seen by neighbors parked near Dunning's residence the night of the murder, the affidavit states.

Deputies eventually located Carter in the area of South Randolph Avenue and East Murray Drive in Farmington, and he was detained, the affidavit states.

While he was being placed in a deputy's squad car, Carter allegedly tried to hide a credit card belonging to Dunning under his car seat, according to the affidavit.

Carter admitted in a statement to detectives that he and Chadwick-McNally sneaked into Dunning's residence at about 3 a.m. Thursday and killed the 60-year-old man.

Carter said he beat Dunning to death with a wrench and tied Dunning's hands together after he attempted to escape, the affidavit states.

Dunning told detectives he stole several tools from the residence, and Chadwick-McNally stole a few hundred dollars and Dunning's credit card.

Surveillance footage obtained by detectives showed Chadwick-McNally attempting to use the credit card at a local store at about 6 a.m. Thursday, according to the affidavit, but the card was declined.

Sheriff's Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln said in an interview Chadwick-McNally was arrested and declined to make a statement.

Lincoln said Carter told detectives he and Chadwick-McNally were addicted to methamphetamine.

Both Carter and Chadwick-McNally are being held without bond, according to Lincoln.

Neither Carter nor Chadwick-McNally have been appointed legal representation by the courts or retained private representation, according to court records.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and stgarrison@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.