Authorities arrest three for stabbings

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Two Catron County men and a 17-year-old male juvenile were arrested Aug. 7 in Datil for the alleged stabbings of Eda Farr-Lee and Melissa Leyba, a Catron County Sheriff’s press release stated.

Both women survived the attack, said Catron County Undersheriff Ian Fletcher, who is also the sheriff’s office public information officer.

Courtesy photo: Melissa Leyba was stabbed multiple times Aug. 7 in Datil in Catron County.

As of Tuesday, one of the victims was still in the hospital and the other had been released. Additional information on the condition of the victims was unknown as of Tuesday.

Shane Johnson was arraigned on the charges of attempted murder in first degree, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree and aggravated battery, Catron County Magistrate Court officials said Tuesday. Justin Miller was arraigned on kidnapping and conspiracy.

Both adults are being held on $500,000 bonds, Fletcher said, and there may be additional charges filed by the District Attorney’s Office, but that remains to be seen.

The juvenile’s charges were not readily available by press time.

Shortly after 5 p.m. on Aug. 7, the Catron County Sheriff’s Department received the 911 call, the release stated.

“The call was in reference to a reported stabbing in the Datil area,” the release stated. “It was reported that one female had been stabbed and that there was another female who had been killed and placed in the trunk of a vehicle.”

It was later reported that the victim was still alive.

“Melissa Leyba had been stabbed numerous times and drove to the Eagle Guest gas station to seek help,” the release stated. “Ms. Leyba was able to give the suspect(s) descriptions, prior to being flown to UNM Hospital. Eda (Marie) Farr-Lee was in the vehicle with serious trauma, (and) was flown to UNM hospital.”

Far-Lee may have been in the trunk of the car for more than an hour, Fletcher said, but that is undetermined.

Johnson and Miller were located and arrested for their alleged involvement in the crime or crimes by Catron County deputies later that day. The 17-year-old was also arrested by a Catron County Sheriff’s deputies for his alleged involvement and is in custody in a juvenile detention facility. His name has not been released by sheriffs because he is a minor.

Fletcher said it was not clear what kind of knife that was used, but he said he believed it was some sort of pocket knife.

New Mexico State Police criminal investigation agents have processed the scenes and collected evidence, the release stated.

“Everyone in the department was involved,” Fletcher said, adding the issue is being investigated as an attempted homicide.

The charges are still being updated, Fletcher said.

“At least one of the victims was familiar with one of the suspects,” Fletcher said, but he did not know what the relationship was. “I don’t think it was intimate.”