Dixon homicides: brothers will have own trials

By Ari Burack
The New Mexican
Posted 11/8/19

A state district judge has decided two brothers accused of fatally shooting three people in May 2018 at a home near Dixon will have separate trials in January.

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Dixon homicides: brothers will have own trials

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A state district judge has decided two brothers accused of fatally shooting three people in May 2018 at a home near Dixon will have separate trials in January.

John Powell, 35, and Roger Gage, 34, each faces three counts of first-degree murder in what prosecutors have called drug-related slayings, as well as charges of burglary, conspiracy and tampering with evidence.

State police found the bodies of April Browne, 42, Abraham Martinez, 36, and Kierin Guillemin, 27, inside a home on State Road 580 in the community of Cañoncito, about 2 miles east of Dixon. The brothers were arrested a few days later.

Video from a surveillance camera in the home showed Powell and Gage shot each victim in the head and then stole items from the home, according to police.

First Judicial District Judge Jason Lidyard, based in the Rio Arriba Division, agreed Tuesday (Oct. 29) to sever the brothers’ cases, as requested in a motion filed by Gage’s defense attorney, Tom Clark.

Clark’s motion, filed in July, said the brothers might have made conflicting statements to authorities, incriminating each other.

Police reports indicate Gage made several admissions to officers after his arrest, incriminating both himself and Powell, the motion said, and even offered information about the time the homicides took place, saying it had been dark and was “spur of the moment.”

Gage further told police they would not find the guns used to kill Browne, Martinez and Guillemin, the motion said, because the weapons had been thrown into a river; he also said the brothers’ clothes had been thrown into a dumpster.

When asked if video of two men holding guns in the home showed him and his brother at the scene, Gage referred to an image of the men and said, “This piece of paper I have right here was pretty much all of it,” the motion said.

But Clark said Gage maintained he did not commit the killings.

Powell refused to give police a statement.

However, his girlfriend, Sonya Chavez, told police Powell had confessed to her about the slayings and an original plan to only kill Browne, the motion said.

According to the motion, Chavez said Powell had told her that he shot Browne and Gage shot Guillemin, and that they stole a safe and some baggies of drugs from the Cañoncito home.

This story first published in the Santa Fe New Mexican, a sibling publication of Taos News. 

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