FOR THE RECORD: Michelle Carlino-Webster’s name has been corrected in this story.
While 40 uniformed police and sheriff’s officers and a bench full of federal prosecutors looked on, Davon Lymon pleaded guilty Monday morning in federal court to two counts of heroin dealing and one count of selling a firearm to an undercover officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In a front row was Michelle Carlino-Webster, the widow of the man law enforcement believes Lymon shot and killed during a traffic stop.
Lymon, a tall man with a full beard, is a suspect in the October 2015 shooting of Albuquerque police officer Daniel Webster, but at this point he faces no state charges directly related to the fatal shooting.
Instead, the 35-year-old Lymon has resolved one of two federal cases against him that the state wants to be over before it takes the Webster shooting before a grand jury. He is being prosecuted under the U.S. Attorney Office’s “worst of the worst” anti-violence program.
Webster was shot in Southeast Albuquerque on Oct. 21, 2015. Lymon allegedly fired six rounds as the officer attempted to handcuff him. Webster died eight days later from injuries sustained in that stop.
The heroin distribution case was to have gone to trial before a Las Cruces jury next month, but the plea resolves that issue.
Chief U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo asked Lymon, flanked by federal public defenders Marc Robert and Kari Converse, a series of questions about the voluntary nature of the plea before he answered “guilty” to the three charges.
He was charged with knowing distribution of heroin and illegal possession of a firearm he sold to a federal undercover agent. He could not legally own a gun because of prior convictions for voluntary manslaughter, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily harm, fraud and forgery.
Part of the indictment was forfeiture of money he is alleged to have made in the sales of heroin to an undercover agent – $2,200 on Sept. 11, 2015, and $4,000 on Oct. 2, 2015, the date he also sold a gun to the agent for $300.
Lymon said he was aware of the potential time he faces on the indictment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake Wishard said that would be 50 years if the court sentences him to serve them consecutively.
Lymon told Armijo he was born in Boston, completed a GED degree, some college prerequisites in English, history and science, and that he had not served in the military. He said he obtained certification in fiber optics while serving an earlier sentence at the Los Lunas Correctional Facility.
In a second federal case, also before Armijo, Lymon is charged with four counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The first three counts are unrelated to either the heroin trafficking or the Webster shooting, but the fourth charges him with possessing the gun with which Webster was shot. Separate trials are scheduled on the Webster-related firearm possession and the other three counts.
Armijo ordered a pre-sentence report, which usually requires 70 days, but the defense already had asked the federal probation office to prepare its calculation of the time Lymon faces under federal sentencing guidelines, which could speed the process.
David Waymire, violent crimes supervisor in the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said that because of case dismissals under the new local rule, state prosecutors opted to wait and see what his federal sentence would be before seeking a homicide indictment. The process of obtaining the writ to get someone out of federal custody and into state custody is time-consuming, he said.
“We will go forward with the murder charges – we’re just deciding on the best timing,” Waymire said.
Jeff Rein, an attorney in the capital crimes unit of the Law Office of the Public Defender who will be involved in the state court case, was among those in court Monday for Lymon’s plea.