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Murder trial in 2013 slaying delayed until December

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

AZTEC — The murder trial for Cody Soto — expected to begin Monday — was delayed until December, according to court records.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said Soto's defense attorney, Liane Kerr, requested on Monday morning that the trial be continued so that she could interview two witnesses only recently made available.

The witnesses — David Carter and Michael Graham — were both persons of interest in the slaying of Brandy Robinson in June 2013, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

O'Brien said the San Juan County Sheriff's Office was unable to locate Carter, 45, until last week, when he was arrested on charges unrelated to Robinson's murder.

Graham, 43, is in federal custody in New Mexico, O'Brien said, and it was initially unclear whether federal authorities would make him available to testify at Soto's trial.

Kerr could not be reached for comment Monday.

Robinson was found by San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputies dead of multiple stab wounds in a remote location near the Bisti Highway the morning of June 22, 2013, according to the affidavit. She was 29.

Robinson's mother told detectives she believed either Soto or Graham, both former lovers of Robinson, was responsible for her daughter's death, the affidavit states.

Carter, 45, also an ex-boyfriend, was seen with Robinson two days before she was found dead.

He told detectives Graham and Robinson visited him at a Farmington motel room on June 20, 2013, and that was the last time he saw her.

Graham, 43, told detectives he and Robinson got into a small argument after they left Carter's motel room and he did not see her again.

Soto, 26, of Bloomfield, was questioned on July 9, 2013, about the murder and allegedly admitted to detectives he stabbed Robinson, the affidavit states.

However, he recanted during the same interview and provided detectives details inconsistent with the evidence in Robinson's death, according to the affidavit.

Soto's trial was rescheduled for Dec. 8, court records state.

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.