Adam Lovato will likely remain in custody until a February trial for the Sept. 16 murder of Ivan Maestas in La Puebla after First Judicial District Court Judge Glenn Ellington revoked his conditions of release Monday for violating house arrest.
Prosecutors called Electronic Monitoring Program employees to testify Lovato did not attend his mandatory first weekly visit to the Program, failed to disclose a change in address from Española to Albuquerque, and made an unauthorized trip out on Nov. 13.
Lovato’s mother, Ruby Roybal, testified on his behalf that they made a single trip to Recovery Services of New Mexico in Albuquerque, with stops to drop her grand-nephew off at YDI, the post office, and the Human Services Department. This route was supported by evidence presented by the Electronic Monitoring Program.
While doctor’s visits are one of the few outings allowed under house arrest, Program participants are required to give prior notification.
Roybal testified that Lovato used her phone to call Program employees with questions multiple times after his release, but no one ever answered.
Defense Attorney Winston Shaw focused heavily on the fact neither Lovato nor his mother were given copies of the Program’s rules, saying the opportunity to read over a copy before signing it five days prior to his October release was inadequate.
The failure to disclose a change in address was functionally dismissed when Roybal testified and provided some documentation indicating she had told Program officials of the change.
Prosecutor Blake Nichols said Lovato’s supposed ignorance of the rules and difficulty contacting Program officials did not excuse his unapproved outing or no-show for his first weekly meeting, saying he had read and signed his obligations.
“It’s his job to report weekly,” he said. “He’s essentially thumbing his nose at Electronic Monitoring.”
Shaw said prosecutors were just making another push for their previously unsuccessful motion for pretrial detention.
Ellington, who replaced Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer on the case mid-October, opted to hold Lovato without bond.
“Mr. Lovato has violated the conditions of his release,” he said. “There are no conditions of release that will guarantee the safety of the community.”
Roybal said in an interview after the decision that the decision was unfair and she felt they waited to take her son back into custody until over a week after his first failure to meet with the Program in order to trap him. She said her son does not pose a threat to the community.
“He was never out of my sight,” she said. “Had Adam started doing things wrong I would have turned him in myself.”
Lovato, 35, was charged with second degree murder for fatally shooting Maestas, possession of a firearm as a felon, tampering with evidence, and evading or resisting arrest for allegedly fleeing police when they first arrived on the night of the shooting.
An affidavit from State Police Investigations Bureau Agent Jessie Whittaker stated that Lovato admitted to the shooting. He said the general consensus of eyewitnesses was that Maestas, 39, of Chimayó, arrived at the home intoxicated and began to threaten people with a knife and damage property. Witnesses reportedly told the agent that Lovato fired a warning shot for Maestas to leave, then shot him.
Lovato pleaded not guilty to the charges.
He has at least five prior felony convictions including three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one of possession of a firearm by a felon, and more charges.
Maestas had at least seven prior felony convictions, none of which appear to have been violent, though he was charged with felony assault on multiple occasions.