Inmates start disturbance out of county

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Two Valencia County inmates will be spending some time out of the county after a disturbance at the Cibola County Detention Center in Grants Sunday night.

While at the Cibola County jail, inmates Jordan Hurd and Jonathan Duncan allegedly started a disturbance that set off inmates in two pods, said CCDC Warden Racine Rhoades.

"They were being escorted to segregation and that is what seemed to trigger the disturbance in the two pods, where most of the Valencia County inmates were housed," Rhoades said.

The warden said the incident is still under investigation to determine exactly what caused the outburst.

As the incident escalated, three Cibola County jail officers sustained minor injuries, the warden said. The inmates also destroyed beds and mattresses in the pods.

Local law enforcement officers secured the perimeter of the jail, Rhoades said, and the Certified Emergency Response Team from the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility responded to assist in restoring order inside the jail.

Hurd and Duncan have been housed at CCDC due to overcrowding at the Valencia County Detention Center, and Rhoades said both were involved in a disturbance in January 2013. Rhoades said the current investigation should be concluded in a few weeks.

"The main thing is that everyone, the officers and inmates, are safe," she said.

Major Randy Gutierrez, with the VCDC, said he received a call about the incident near 9 p.m. on Sunday. He then spent nearly 12 hours making two trips to Grants, transporting 22 inmates back to the jail in Los Lunas, then reclassifying, assessing and housing them again at VCDC.

"It was a disturbance that could have escalated into a riot," Gutierrez said. "The inmates had covered their faces and were breaking the bunks for make-shift weapons. I saw the aftermath, it was very destructive."

During the trips back to Valencia County, Gutierrez said the inmates told him the incident happened because the Cibola County staff treated them unfairly.

"I can't say what the cause was, but that's what they told me," the major said.

When he and other VCDC officers arrived in Grants, the Valencia County inmates were compliant and following orders, he said.

"Most of them participated to avoid being hurt themselves," Gutierrez said. "They played along."

Hurd was indicted in October on two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Wesley Hobbs and his daughter, Amanda. Hurd was also charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a third-degree felony, for shooting and injuring wife and mother Patricia Hobbs.

The grand jury also indicted Hurd with one count of armed robbery, a second-degree felony; and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, a third-degree felony.

In 2012, Duncan was charged with a first- and second-degree murder count, aggravated burglary, criminal damage to property of more than $1,000, tampering with evidence, aggravated burglary and larceny under $250 for his alleged involvement in the 2011 death of 41-year-old Rio Communities woman JoAnn Quintana.

Gutierrez said the inmates who came back to Los Lunas will face disciplinary actions at the local jail, while the two who remain in Grants will be subject to discipline there and possible criminal charges.

According to online court records, Hurd appeared before Cibola County Magistrate Larry D. Diaz on Monday on two fourth-degree felony charges of battery on a peace officer and one charge of assault upon a peace officer, a misdemeanor.

No information was available on Duncan.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.