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Judge Detains Stabbing Suspect Citing 12 Prior Cases

on November 15, 2017 - 5:26am

Andrea Rivera, right, consults with her attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies Tuesday during a dangerousness hearing before First Judicial District Judge T. Glenn Ellington in Santa Fe. Photo by Maire O'Neill/


Los Alamos Daily Post

A 30-year-old Los Alamos woman will remain in custody without bond until further notice on two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count of tampering with evidence.

First Judicial District Judge T. Glenn Ellington said Tuesday that at this time there are no conditions of release he could impose on Andrea Rivera that would guarantee the safety of the community.

The charges against Rivera relate to a Nov. 3 incident at a Canyon Road apartment in which she is accused of stabbing Cory Kerschner multiple times in the chest area and causing a large laceration to his abdomen. Kerschner remains hospitalized in Albuquerque in critical condition. Rivera also cut the thumb of her sister, Sara Cooper, during the incident.

At Tuesday’s hearing in Santa Fe, Assistant District Attorney Michael Nunez told the Court Rivera left the scene and went to the home of someone who didn’t know what had happened, and that knowing what she had done, she proceeded to take a shower and dump her clothes in the garbage outside.

Nunez told the Court of previous cases involving Rivera including a 2015 case of battery on a household member in which she stabbed her mother, but her mother did not want to confront her own daughter on what had happened.

“There could have been prosecution out of that. We are not sure the victim in the hospital will survive at this point. The fact that he was left in that condition and she just fled the scene and then got rid of her clothes and showered, all indicate a danger to these victims. Also, the fact that she’s ramped up in her level of crime indicates that she is a danger to the community,” Nunez said.

Judge Ellington asked Nunez how Rivera had performed on probation of conditions of release pending adjudication. Nunez said he didn’t believe Rivera had been on full probation where there would be documentation of probation violations.

Rivera’s attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies asked the Court to consider conditions of release with electronic monitoring. Judge Ellington asked where Rivera would live and Carmack-Altwies responded that she would be able to live at “the actual house where she was apprehended” with Gary Bobo. Carmack-Altwies told the Court that Bobo is not a victim or a witness in the case “other than that’s where she showed up and that’s where her clothes were found”. She suggested that Bobo could be admonished not to discuss the case, stating that he was not in the other apartment “when the alleged fight took place”.

Judge Ellington said it looked like Rivera went to Bobo’s home afterwards and was still wearing the clothes she had on.

“I think that’s a witness,” he said.

Carmack-Altwies told the Court Rivera doesn’t have a history of failure to appear, that she couldn’t find out why there were probation violations, and that there was no felony history, “just three or four misdemeanor issues over the last few years”.

“These allegations are the most severe she has had and in her interview, there was talk of self-defense so I would urge the Court to take that into consideration,” Carmack-Altwies said.

Judge Ellington said that he counted 12 different cases charged since 2011 not including the current case – everything from simple disorderly conduct charges to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon to assault and battery against law enforcement.

“Given the strength of the case and the seriousness of the offense, the Court considers that in this particular case the previous allegation of proper violence against her mother also with a knife, the repetitive history. It looks like she was charged once in 2011 and once in 2012, arrested once in 2013, once in 2014 and 2015, twice in 2016 and twice in 2017,” Judge Ellington said. “Despite being placed on probation or conditions of release previously, she has continued with a pattern of activity that has brought her into contact with law enforcement and there has been successful prosecution at Magistrate Court.”

Judge Ellington said he was very concerned about "the failure to prosecute the previous couple of cases that look like they were dismissed, which were officer-prosecuted cases that involved violence". He said it appeared that Rivera’s violent behavior is undeterred.

“There may have been a possibility to intervene earlier. Hindsight is always perfect at 20/20, but in this case there’s a clear pattern of escalating violence going back to 2011,” he concluded.