Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Fox

Court of Appeals of New Mexico

December 20, 2016

STATE OF NEW MEXICO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CHIP FOX, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF CURRY COUNTY Stephen K. Quinn, Judge.

          Hector H. Balderas, Attorney General Santa Fe, NM M. Victoria Wilson, Assistant Attorney General Albuquerque, NM for Appellee.

          Bennett J. Baur, Chief Public Defender Nina Lalevic, Assistant Appellate Defender Santa Fe, NM for Appellant.

          OPINION

          MICHAEL E. VIGIL, Chief Judge.

         {1} Defendant appeals from a jury verdict finding him guilty of voluntary manslaughter, in violation of NMSA 1978, Section 30-2-3(A) (1994), and felony and criminal solicitation to commit tampering with evidence, in violation of NMSA 1978, Section 30-28-3(A) (1979). Concluding that the evidence supports the convictions, we affirm, but remand the case to the district court to correct a clerical error in the judgment, sentence, and order determining habitual offender status.

         I. BACKGROUND

         {2} On August 16, 2012, Defendant, his girlfriend Tiffany Pryor, and his friend

         Kevin Reardon were visiting Defendant's aunt at her home in Clovis, New Mexico. While Defendant and Kevin were changing a tire, Kevin was stabbed. After the stabbing, Defendant went next door where his childhood friend Chad Jackson lived. Defendant was holding a bloody knife and looked terrified. Defendant told Chad, "I stabbed my best friend, and I'm scared, and I don't know what to do." Defendant also said that when Kevin became aggressive and repeatedly charged at him, Defendant told Kevin he had a knife and to leave him alone. Defendant said, "My friend charged me and ran into the knife, and I stabbed him, and I'm scared, and I don't know what to do." Chad told Defendant to put the knife on a nearby table, and Defendant complied.

         {3} When Officer Jimmy Brown arrived on the scene, Defendant denied knowing what had happened. Officer Brown also spoke to Kevin, who was sitting on the aunt's porch, bleeding, and going in and out of consciousness. Kevin said he was "talking shit to somebody" who then stabbed him. The ambulance arrived and took Kevin to the hospital. Detective Rick Smith met with Kevin at the hospital, and asked Kevin what had happened. Kevin answered that he was "talking shit and my homie stabbed me." After initially refusing to identify who stabbed him, Kevin identified Defendant. Later Kevin died from the stabbing.

         {4} At the scene, Officer Brown placed Defendant in investigative detention after speaking to Chad. In an interview at the police station, Defendant eventually admitted he stabbed Kevin, but asserted he did not mean to do so and never intended to hurt him. While he initially said he could not explain the reason for Kevin's aggression, Defendant later said that Kevin had become enraged while sniffing or "huffing" Dust-Off and started swinging his fists at Defendant, making him afraid. Defendant said he tried to calm Kevin down and pushed him away but Kevin kept coming at him, and eventually ran into the knife in Defendant's hand. Defendant explained that the knife was part of the camping gear he was putting into the car at the time. The Chief Medical Investigator agreed that while it was possible for Kevin's wound to have been caused by Kevin moving toward the knife and falling on it if it was held rigidly, it was his opinion this was not likely, and that Kevin's wound was more consistent with being stabbed by the thrust of a knife.

         {5} The police investigation included a search of the property where they found Dust-Off cans, including some cans in a black backpack. Defendant called Tiffany from the jail. When Tiffany told Defendant the police were going to take Defendant's black backpack with six Dust-Off cans in it, Defendant asked her to get the backpack out of the house. Tiffany told Defendant she could not because the police were "everywhere" in the house. Defendant then asked Tiffany to pull all his "shit" out of the backpack and tell the police it was someone else's backpack. Tiffany told Defendant the other person's backpack "is in the car, " and Defendant told Tiffany to tell the police he had two backpacks. Defendant then told Tiffany, "If they ask you, just tell them the truth[.]"

         {6} The jury found Defendant guilty of voluntary manslaughter as a lesser included offense to the charge of second degree murder and solicitation to commit tampering with evidence. A judgment, sentence, and order determining habitual offender status was then filed, and Defendant appeals.

         II. DISCUSSION

         {7} Defendant raises three issues on appeal; however, these issues raise challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence for each conviction. We therefore consolidate the appeal into two issues and analyze Defendant's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.