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Judge to suspect: Watch the eye roll

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Crime > Alcalde man awaits trial while in detention center

By Tris DeRoma

If there’s one thing Los Alamos Detention Center inmate Andrew Abeyta is learning while awaiting trial, it’s don’t roll your eyes when the judge is talking to you.
During a routine status hearing for Abeyta Tuesday in magistrate court, Abeyta allegedly said an offhand remark in the courtroom that apparently didn’t go over well with the police officers within earshot.
When they reported the incident to the presiding judge, Pat Casados, she addressed Abeyta about the incident.
“I’m going to give you a little bit of advice. You’re on a short string with these officers right now, a very short string,” Casados said. “You’re about to fall into a very deep abyss. I think you should change your attitude toward them at this point in time, or you’re going to have even a worse time. They may even bring some more charges against you. Do you understand?”
That’s when he responded with an eye roll.
Casados noticed immediately.
“While you roll your eyes….I’m wondering if you think this is a joke?” she said.
Abeyta said no, and that he really didn’t mean anything by his comment to the officers.
“If I said anything, it wasn’t intentionally meant to them,” he said to the judge.
Casados then told him to change his ways.
“Then you need to stop. Like, when you were a little kid and your mom said to stop and look both ways… you need to stop and think both ways how this will be taken, what I say and what I do. Do you understand?”
Abeyta, 19, of Alcalde, directly looked at Casados and responded with a “yes ma’am” this time without the eye roll.
Abeyta is due for his preliminary hearing March 20, when Casados is expected to find or not find cause to refer Abeyta’s cases to district court.
Abeyta was arrested Dec. 24 shortly after an altercation with a couple in the parking lot at Smith’s Grocery on Central Avenue. According to the couple, Abeyta allegedly pulled a gun on them after their cars nearly collided near one of the exits. The couple was heading out and Abeyta was heading in when the incident occurred.
According to the report, the driver apparently honked at Abeyta and Abeyta got out of his car, pointing a .22 caliber handgun at them. The couple sped off and called police, who told them to meet them in Sullivan Field. The couple also told police that they thought Abeyta was following them. When Abeyta drove by Sullivan Field on Diamond, he was pulled over and arrested.
Abeyta was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance and criminal trespass. The criminal trespass charge stemmed from an earlier shoplifting case brought by Smith’s against Abeyta.
While in custody for the gun incident, Abeyta was caught allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into the jail and for causing a police officer “apprehension.”
That incident occurred Dec. 25 when another inmate reported to police that Abeyta had drugs on him. When officers confronted Abeyta, he was on the toilet holding a plastic baggie. Abeyta allegedly ignored the officer and flushed the baggie down the toilet.
Police then discovered three more baggies in his cell along with some marijuana lying next to the toilet.
Two of the baggies may have contained marijuana and one may have contained crystal methamphetamine, according to the police report.
Shortly after the incident, it was reported by police that Abeyta was caught on jail surveillance video making a threatening move toward one of the officers.
Abeyta was charged with assault, bringing contraband into places of imprisonment, tampering with evidence, possession of a controlled substance, three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana (less than one ounce).