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FARMINGTON — Two high-profile defendants declined Thursday to challenge probable cause in the criminal cases brought against them.

Recovery agent and former candidate for San Juan County Sheriff Daniel Goldberg waived his right to a preliminary examination hearing on fraud charges filed against him on July 24.

Goldberg, 55, is accused of extorting a woman, Nicolette Morris, who he bonded out of jail in September 2014, according to court records.

Morris told deputies from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office in May that Goldberg extorted more than $1,000 from her by threatening to return her to jail if she did not pay him for various fees, records state.

Goldberg also made an initial appearance Thursday in a separate criminal case, in which he is charged with racketeering, extortion and several more counts of felony fraud.

David Carter also waived his right to a preliminary examination hearing on charges of murder.

Carter, 29, is accused of bludgeoning Gerald Dunning to death with a wrench on Aug. 27 at Dunning's residence near Aztec.

Carter's girlfriend, Shanah Chadwick-McNally, is also charged in Dunning's death.

A judge ruled last week sufficient evidence existed to arraign the 26-year-old woman on murder charges.

All three defendants next will be arraigned in district court for trial.

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 @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.

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