Slaying suspect’s girlfriend is charged

Police: Woman connected to Dixon murder suspects faces tampering charges

By Robert Nott
rnott@sfnewmexican.com
Posted 6/21/18

The girlfriend of one of the suspects in the Dixon triple homicide was charged with tampering with evidence and conspiracy after state police said she …

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Slaying suspect’s girlfriend is charged

Police: Woman connected to Dixon murder suspects faces tampering charges

Posted

The girlfriend of one of the suspects in the Dixon triple homicide was charged with tampering with evidence and conspiracy after state police said she retrieved money and drugs stolen in the crime at the behest of the jailed suspects.

State police said Sonya Chavez, 34, of El Prado, admitted to getting the money and drugs after suspects Roger Gage and John Powell called her to tell her where to find them.

Police identified Chavez as Powell’s girlfriend.

The arrest adds a new twist to a violent crime that shook the small community of Dixon late last month.

Powell, 34, of Taos, and Gage, 33, of Arroyo Hondo, were indicted Thursday on three counts of first-degree murder and other related crimes in the May 28 shooting deaths of Abraham Martinez, April Browne and Kierin Guillemin.

State police say video surveillance footage shows Powell and Gage shooting all three victims in the head, then ransacking the house in an apparent search for drugs and money. The suspects are being held without bond in the Río Arriba County Detention Center.

Gage and Powell were taken into custody during a traffic stop in El Prado June 1. According to an arrest warrant filed in Taos County Magistrate Court Tuesday, a request was made with the detention center for all recordings of phone calls made by Gage and Powell from the time of their incarceration.

During a June 12 recorded phone conversation with Chavez, Powell and Gage are heard telling her where they hid money stolen from the Dixon property during the homicide. They told her it was behind a light fixture in Roger Gage’s trailer in Carson, according to the warrant.

Also in the phone conversation, the men then say drugs were “thrown out of the window of their vehicle as a traffic stop was conducted on them prior to their arrest,” the warrant says.

The two men then told Chavez to retrieve the drugs, according to the warrant.

“Sonya informs Roger and John that she had returned to that location and recovered the narcotics,” the warrant says, referring to the telephone conversation.

Police reviewed the dash camera footage of the traffic stop for Gage and Powell and saw a large baggie thrown from the window of the vehicle on Millicent Rogers Road, according to the arrest warrant.

Though police caught up with Chavez at her father’s house in El Prado and told her they had video of the drugs being thrown from the car, she initially denied having collected them. She said she and her mother, identified as Yolanda Chavez in the warrant, did go to Millicent Rogers Road to look for the drugs but did not find them.

But Yolanda Chavez told police her daughter “had in fact recovered the narcotics,” the warrant says.

Sonya Chavez then admitted she had used all the drugs, authorities said. When police told her that they had “seen the size of the baggie thrown and that it was not possible for even an addict of her caliber to use that much narcotics in less than 24 hours,” she stuck to her story and said police would not find them if they searched her home.

Police said they booked Chavez into the Taos County Adult Detention Center on Thursday (June 14).

Dixon murders

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