SANTA FE, N.M. — A co-defendant in a brutal murder case out of Rio Arriba County refused to testify Wednesday at the trial of his alleged partner-in-crime, despite his commitment to do so in a previous plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.
In another development on the first day of testimony in the Toby Gonzales trial, the defendant’s attorney sought a “mistrial for police misconduct,” claiming a confession that Gonzales allegedly gave to an officer was ill-gotten.
Gonzales, 23, of El Guique, faces several charges, including murder, for his role in the grisly 2010 killing of Steven Duran. Prosecutors contend that Gonzales and Rudy Salazar hog-tied the 26-year-old Chamita man, beat him in the back of his own truck, dumped him into a remote arroyo, doused him with gasoline and set his lifeless body on fire.
Several Duran supporters and family members struggled with their emotions while photographs of the victim’s charred and beaten body were shown to jurors.