Murder trial begins for Bloomfield man accused of fatally stabbing ex-girlfriend

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The trial for the murder of Brandy Robinson is set to begin today.

Cody Soto, 26, of Bloomfield, was charged Aug. 28, 2013, with first-degree murder in the slaying of Robinson, who was found nude with her throat slit in a remote location near the Bisti Highway the morning of June 22, 2013.

The 29-year-old woman was also found to have suffered more than 22 stab wounds, and had lacerations on her hands and forearms suggesting she attempted to defend herself during an attack, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Detectives from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office searched the scene where the body was found and, despite the soft dirt blanketing the area, found no footprints, suggesting the assailant tried to hide his tracks, the affidavit states. Drag marks and a blood trail led detectives to an area near the scene where Robinson's broken and bloodied eyeglasses were found, the affidavit states.

Detectives quickly identified Soto, an ex-boyfriend, as a person of interest in the case, though several other former lovers also were questioned.

According to the affidavit, Robinson reported being body slammed by Soto outside their home only nine days before her death. Robinson told detectives investigating the incident at the time that she planned on leaving Soto, the affidavit states.

Soto was charged with battery, but Robinson failed to appear for a preliminary examination hearing on June 20, 2013, to testify against him, the affidavit states. Soto was released from jail, and a new hearing was scheduled, according to the affidavit.

Soto was questioned several times in connection to Robinson's death, according to the affidavit.

On July 9, 2013, Soto allegedly broke down crying during questioning and admitted to detectives he stabbed Robinson.

However, he recanted during the same interview and claimed Robinson was jumped, beaten and stabbed by several other individuals, according to the affidavit.

Soto reaffirmed his involvement in Robinson's murder the next day, the affidavit states, but continued to provide incorrect details regarding her death.

Detectives also obtained messages from a Facebook account belonging to Robinson, according to the affidavit.

Soto allegedly begs Robinson to take him back in one Facebook message sent on June 20, 2013, the day he was released from jail.

"...i truly want u n the kids that's all i need plz dont leave me," Soto allegedly wrote.

Soto is being represented by Albuquerque attorney Liane Kerr. Kerr did not respond to a request for comment.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said Friday that prosecutors Shellie Patscheck and David Cowen were prepared for trial.

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