Man charged with running over two people with vehicle

Grand jury charges attempted homicide, DA dismisses

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 10/23/19

A Ranchos de Taos man is facing two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after he was accused of running over two people with a vehicle in September, skirting attempted murder charges filed by a grand jury last month that a prosecutor dismissed from the case this week.

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Man charged with running over two people with vehicle

Grand jury charges attempted homicide, DA dismisses

Posted

A Ranchos de Taos man is facing two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after he was accused of running over two people with a vehicle in September, skirting attempted murder charges filed by a grand jury last month that a prosecutor dismissed from the case this week.

According to a statement of probable cause, 44-year-old Daniel Kesner became involved in a roadside dispute with Louisa Montoya, Donovan Sisco and John Oliver at State Road 518 and U.S. Hill shortly after midnight on Sept. 1.

Taos County Sheriff's Deputy Jose T. Garcia wrote in the statement that Montoya had waved him down to say that Kesner had told her, Sisco and Oliver to get out of a maroon Subaru they had been parked in at the side of the road.

She said Kesner began to fight with Sisco and Oliver, climbed into their Subaru and began driving around in circles. She said Kesner eventually struck Oliver, causing injuries to his chest, neck and head.

Montoya said Kesner drove off down a nearby forest road and returned a short time later, striking Sisco, breaking his left leg above the ankle. To avoid being struck by Kesner, Montoya said she hid in some nearby bushes. She told the deputy that she had feared for her life during the encounter.

After Kesner was charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in Taos Magistrate Court, the 8th Judicial District Attorney's Office filed a motion to hold him without bond, but that motion was rejected in Taos District Court. Kesner was released from custody on a GPS ankle bracelet and placed on house arrest.

After reviewing evidence during a hearing held Oct. 4, the grand jury exercised its power to file six addition felonies: two counts of attempted second-degree murder; two counts of attempted homicide by vehicle; and two counts of assault with intent to commit a violent felony.

Believing the added charges would likely not hold up given the evidence in the case, state prosecutor John Lovelace dismissed the additional six counts added by the grand jury during an arraignment on Tuesday (Oct. 22).

On Dec. 14, 2018, Kesner was sentenced to two and a half years probation in a plea deal related to a separate case that also involved the use of a vehicle as a weapon. The case alleged that Kesner punched another man several times in the face and later collided into a vehicle the man was driving. Although he was originally charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, burglary of a vehicle, larceny and criminal damage to property, Kesner pleaded guilty to a lesser, misdemeanor charge of battery and burglary of a vehicle.

He is scheduled to reappear in district court in the new case on Dec. 2.

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