Two men accused of violent robbery of Farmington hotel
- Joshua Richardson and Jose Sotelo Jr., both 30 and from Farmington, are accused of working together to attack a Baymont by Wyndham Farmington employee on the night of December 3.
- The prosecution documents were filed on March 2 in Farmington Magistrate Court.
- Sotelo was released on March 3 from the county jail and Richardson remains in jail.
FARMINGTON – Two men have been arrested in connection with a reported violent burglary at a Farmington hotel in which a man is accused of putting an employee in a choke hold and also stealing grain for the kid- lunch.
Joshua Richardson and Jose Sotelo Jr., both 30 and Farmington, are accused of working together to attack a Baymont by Wyndham Farmington employee on the night of December 3, court documents show.
The defendants face one second-degree count of aggravated burglary and one third-degree count of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, according to the criminal complaint.
Richardson and Sotelo were not represented by legal counsel on the afternoon of March 5.
The prosecution documents were filed on March 2 in Farmington Magistrate Court.
The investigation was initiated when the Farmington Police Department was dispatched around 8:23 p.m. on December 3 to the hotel at 901 E. Broadway Ave. on information indicating a theft.
Officers spoke to an employee who said she was assaulted on December 3 and reviewed security footage to investigate the incident.
Documents indicate that video footage examined by a detective showed Sotelo and Richardson entering the building and opening a door.
A document indicates that Richardson entered a closed kitchen and closed the door behind him. He allegedly stole boxes of cereal from the kitchen.
Meanwhile, according to a document, Sotelo entered the lobby and spoke to the woman who worked at the front desk to try to distract her while Richardson stole the cereal. Sotelo then sat in a chair in the lobby as he charged his phone.
Richardson is accused of making his way behind the employee using an employee-only door. The employee told investigators Richardson walked behind her and put her in a choke hold, strangling her as he pulled her violently to the ground.
She added that Richardson ordered her to open the cash register.
Richardson reportedly let go of the employee, grabbed her purse and tried to run away. The employee said she pursued Richardson and retrieved his purse, and he fled the hotel through the front door.
Sotelo is seen in video footage quickly grabbing his property and fleeing the hotel, following Richardson.
Sotelo was arrested on the night of December 3, walking west on Broadway Avenue, away from the hotel, on suspicion of committing an unrelated crime.
In an interview, Sotelo claimed he did not know Richardson and denied being at the motel earlier today.
Richardson was questioned on March 1, after being enrolled in the San Juan County Adult Detention Center for an unrelated crime. Documents indicate that he initially denied being in the video footage, but later admitted that it was him. He then asked for a lawyer and the interview ended.
Sotelo was released on March 3 from the county jail and Richardson remains in jail.
Richardson’s preliminary hearing was set for the morning of March 5 and Sotelo’s for the morning of March 17, both of which took place at Farmington Magistrate Court.
Joshua Kellogg covers the latest news from the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or by email at [email protected].
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