The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Kevin Wilson

One to remain jailed in abuse case


July 29, 2020

Courtesy photo

William Teague

CLOVIS - One of three Clovis residents facing charges of abusing an infant will remain in the Curry County Adult Detention Center while he awaits trial.

That was the ruling made Tuesday morning by District Judge Fred Van Soelen following a 20-minute hearing on a pretrial detention bond for William Teague.

Teague, 29, is the father of a 2-month old Clovis baby who suffered multiple bone fractures. Teague is facing a first-degree child abuse charge along with mother Lachel Johnston, 20, and grandmother Jessica Barnett, 41.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover told the court that Teague was a danger to the public and was unlikely to comply with court conditions should he be granted a bond. Stover said Teague has a criminal history that includes two prior cases of crimes against children, and a 2010 deferred conviction was revoked when he didn't follow court orders less than a year later. While the charges are many years apart, Stover said, he believed a pattern was still established.

Sandra Gallagher, counsel for Teague, told Van Soelen that due to the Children, Youth and Families Department taking the household's children elsewhere, he wouldn't be in contact with the alleged victim and should receive a reasonable bond.

After a review of the case, Van Soelen noted the 2-month-old had numerous injuries, including a tibia fracture and six rib fractures in different stages of healing. The rib injuries, Van Soelen said, established that the abuse was not an isolated incident but a series of events.

"The dangerousness, of course," Van Soelen said, "ties into the nature of the (first-degree) charge."

Van Soelen said given Teague's detention, the case needed to move as quickly as possible.

The state initially planned to make similar arguments for holds on Barnett and Johnston, but Stover said the motions were withdrawn because they didn't meet the criteria.

"Under the standard that has been set by the New Mexico Supreme Court," Stover said, "I have to show there are no conditions for release that can reasonably protect the public."

Stover said he couldn't do that with Johnston, who has no prior criminal history, or Barnett, who was convicted for a non-violent charge of identity theft and by all accounts followed court orders.

Their cases go back to Curry County Magistrate Court, with both going before Judge JaneMarie Vander Dussen Thursday morning for a preliminary examination.

Stover said it would be up to the court, but envisioned conditions of release would include no contact with anybody under 18, no contact with each other on the case and no leaving the district.


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