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UPDATED: Tyler East Sent Back to Jail

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LOS LUNAS —  Mixed martial arts fighter Tyler East will serve out the balance of his probation in jail following a no contest plea last week on charges he ingested cocaine in March.

District Court Judge William Sanchez ordered East be held until June 2013 for admitting to having a “major relapse” on the drug as part of an incident where his ex-girlfriend claimed East was “on a cocaine binge” and physically assaulted her on March 17.

A criminal complaint, filed in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, said his ex-girlfriend, Sherry Armijo, told police East kicked in the door to his friend’s house after he left the residence to “go look for cocaine.”

East allegedly struck the woman and knocked her to the ground by hitting her on her left jaw with his right knee. The impact of the hit caused the woman to lose consciousness, according to the complaint.

The complaint said Armijo tried to leave, but East grabbed her and told her she “wasn’t going anywhere.”

East was indicted on one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of aggravated battery and one count of bribery of a witness in connection with the incident.

“Tyler is violent,” Armijo said in court. “Tyler is a very violent, scary person. With all do respect, he’s not only a danger to himself, he’s a danger to other people.

“I don’t know how many times you can smack him on the hand and let him go so that he can do whatever he wants,” she said. “He has no regard for people, property or anything.”

Armijo said East told her during a phone conversation from the Albuquerque Metropolitan County Detention Center that he “wished that he had just killed” her on the day of the incident. She said she has written East letters while he has been in custody.

“What if I would have hit my head and died or whatever?” Armijo asked. “He doesn’t care. He doesn’t think what he did was wrong. In Tyler’s eyes, Tyler is the victim in everything. Tyler is always the victim.

“… He is going to kill someone one day. I promise you that,” Armijo told the judge. “It doesn’t matter if he serves a year in jail or if he serves 20 years. The day that man gets out of jail, he’s going to end up taking someone’s life. He’s that mean and he’s that cruel and he has no regard for anybody but himself.”

In November, Judge Sanchez reinstated East’s probation, giving him the choice of entering a drug-rehabilitation program or wearing a 24-hour monitoring bracelet.

Back then, East told the judge he wanted to “move forward” and “do good” before he was reinstated on his probation after he admitted through his attorney to snorting cocaine after testing positive for cocaine in August 2011.

East tested positive the same day he won his bout at MMA Fight Pit: Genesis at University Arena on Aug. 13.

On Tuesday, Armijo stormed out of the courtroom after she spoke to the judge and called East a “(expletive) nutcase,” following East’s claim that his ex-girlfriend writes and visits him on a regular basis.

East responded, “You are, lady.”

Shortly after, East’s attorney, Kathleen Rhinehart, told her client to listen to the judge when he started to interrupt Sanchez.

Sanchez said East is a “bull in a China (shop)” when he gets mixed up with drugs and said he could have avoided trouble if he would have continued with drug court under the judge.

East had been admitted to 13th Judicial District Drug Court in a program that aims to help people deal with drug problems while being closely monitored by a team of judicial, probation and clinical professionals.

“You are a walking deadly weapon,” Sanchez said. “When you mix that brain with drugs, you are unpredictable. But, you have to understand that yourself. That’s what we were trying to do in drug court.”

East told Sanchez that his ex-girlfriend played a major role in his relapse earlier this year. He said he has been taking college courses while he has been in custody.

“She’s the one that brought me home drugs from the strip club in the first place,” East said. “She’s the one that caused me to relapse ― not caused me. I’m my own man, but she pretty much taunted me with it.”

Sanchez told East he could find himself back in court if he ends up taking drugs in the future. The judge said East must distance himself from people who could potentially lure him back into his bad habits.

“It’s going to happen if you find yourself back into drugs,” Sanchez said.

East still faces charges that are pending in Bernalillo County.


5:29am 4/26/12 — Fighter Ordered Held on Bond

By Brent Ruffner/Valencia County News-Bulletin

LOS LUNAS –District Court Judge William Sanchez ordered mixed martial arts fighter Tyler East to be held on a $75,000 cash-only bond last week following his arrest on domestic violence charges. East pleaded not guilty to the probation violation through his attorney.

Police said his ex-girlfriend claimed East was “on a cocaine binge” when she said he physically assaulted her on March 17, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint, filed in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, said East’s ex-girlfriend, Sherry Armijo, told police East kicked in the door to his friend’s house after he left the residence to “go look for cocaine.”

The complaint said Armijo tried to leave, but East grabbed her and told her she “wasn’t going anywhere.”

Tyler East, of Albuquerque, top , pounds on Prince McLean of Cincinnati, Ohio in the Heavyweight 265 lbs. match during the MMA Fight Pit Genesis on Aug.13, 2011. (Journal File)

Armijo asked East several times to take her home, but he refused, according to the complaint.

The woman claimed that the next day, East forced his way into her home shortly after he dropped her off. The complaint said East got into an argument with Armijo. When Armijo asked him to leave, East forced his way into the residence, the complaint said.

East allegedly struck the woman and knocked her to the ground by hitting her on her left jaw with his right knee. The impact of the hit caused the woman to lose consciousness, according to the complaint.

Earlier this month, East was indicted on one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of aggravated battery and one count of bribery of a witness in connection with the incident.

Sanchez ruled East’s bond run concurrent with the bond set by the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

In November, Judge Sanchez reinstated East’s probation, giving him the choice of entering a drug-rehabilitation program or wearing a 24-hour monitoring bracelet.

East told the judge he wanted to “move forward” and “do good” before he was reinstated on his probation after he admitted through his attorney to snorting cocaine after testing positive for the drug in August. East tested positive the same day he won his bout at MMA Fight Pit: Genesis at University Arena on Aug. 13.

East was admitted to 13th Judicial District Drug Court in a program that aims to help people deal with a drug problem while being closely monitored by a team of judicial, probation and clinical professionals.

New Mexico mixed-martial-arts fighter Tyler East is being held without bond at the Metropolitan Detention Center after his arrest Sunday on domestic-violence charges.

East, 21, is charged with aggravated battery on a household member and false imprisonment, according to MDC records. He already was on probation for a 2010 aggravated battery conviction and since has been charged with several probation violations.

According to a report by KRQE-TV, a woman told police East had been on a cocaine binge when he kicked her in the jaw and knocked her out Sunday morning in Los Lunas. East was arrested that afternoon in Albuquerque.

East has an 11-3 MMA record, with nine victories by knockout and one by submission. On March 10 in Tulsa, Okla., he defeated Tracy Willis by submission — with punches, not a submission hold — on a King of the Cage card.

East’s older brother, Cody, also fought and won on the same show. Cody East is serving probation for a 2008 battery and child-abuse conviction.

Tyler East was a three-time state heavyweight wrestling champion, once at Los Lunas High School and twice at Belen.

His legal troubles began in 2009, when he was accused of beating a fellow Belen High School student in gym class. He pleaded no contest to a third-degree count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and was sentenced in 2010 to three years’ probation.

Last August, East tested positive for cocaine — a probation violation — after winning a fight at the Pit.

According to a Probation and Parole Division report, East also violated his probation by using a fake ID. In addition, he was accused of harassment by a former girlfriend, and another ex-girlfriend was granted a temporary protective order against him.

In November, state District Judge William Sanchez reinstated East’s probation, giving him the choice of entering a drug-rehabilitation program or wearing a 24-hour monitoring bracelet. According to a story in the Valencia County News-Bulletin, Sanchez told East that “one more slip-up” could send him to prison for the rest of his probationary period.

After the November hearing, East told the News-Bulletin, “I’m going to stay out of trouble and really work on getting my life together.

“I’m going to work on positive things in my life, being a positive role model for kids and people that are following me.”
— This article appeared on page D5 of the Albuquerque Journal

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