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Suspect in attempted break-in held without bond


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A man who allegedly shot at and attempted to break into a home while falsely claiming to be a Roswell police officer will remain held without bond on several criminal charges.

Judge Dustin K. Hunter of New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court ruled at a pretrial detention hearing Friday that Nathan Bartlett, 25, of Roswell, will remain incarcerated while awaiting trial. The motion was filed by the office of the Chaves County District Attorney.

Bartlett faces one count each of shooting at a dwelling, child abuse, attempt to commit aggravated burglary, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence after allegedly trying to break into a 1300 block of South Missouri Avenue residence in the early morning hours of Feb. 3. A woman and her two daughters were home at the time of the attempted break in.

Matthew Stone, Chaves County chief deputy district attorney, said at Friday’s hearing no conditions of release could be crafted to reasonably assure the safety of the community if Bartlett was released. He said Bartlett was out on conditional release when he was arrested Feb. 3 in connection with the incident.

Stone said Bartlett failed to show up to hearings in Chaves County Magistrate Court three times since November on other cases.

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In her closing remarks, Joanne Angel, Bartlett’s defense attorney, asked the court to set bond.

Detective Robert Scribner of the Roswell Police Department was the only witness called at Friday’s hearing. Scribner had interviewed the woman and her two daughters — one 13 years old and one of adult age — soon after the incident took place.

Scribner said the mother told him she was awoken by the sound of broken glass. When she ventured out of her bedroom, she saw light pouring from a flashlight outside a broken window near the front door. A man stood outside wearing a skeleton mask, holding a flashlight and a handgun.

The woman’s 13-year old daughter also came out to the living room and later said the man was wearing a black, zipped up jacket with a skeleton mask attached to it.

The woman reported seeing another individual in all black standing behind the figure in the skull mask, though Scribner said that person has not been apprehended or identified.

When the figure in the mask saw the mother and her 13-year-old daughter he said “RPD get on the ground” and commanded them to open the door.

When the woman went to open the door, the man fired a gunshot into the house, Scribner said. The person did not get into the house and fled the scene.

Scribner said police soon responded to a report of gunfire in the area and when they arrived saw two figures in black running south on Lea Avenue. The two individuals were ordered by police to stop, but did not.

Scribner said Bartlett was later found in the yard of a house in the 400 block of South Lea Street behind some drywall propped up against a house. Bartlett was wearing a hoodie with a skeleton mask on the back.

A .44 Taurus revolver with four spent casings and two live rounds was later discovered in the Lea Street backyard, hidden between a shed and some cinderblocks.

Scribner said fragments from four bullets were found outside the South Missouri Avenue home, along with a set of footprints and a spot of blood now in the process of being tested at a lab.

The mother later told police she thought the voice of the figure standing outside her house sounded like Bartlett, her former personal trainer, but she did not know for sure, Scribner said.

The mother’s adult daughter, when interviewed, said the voice that told her mother and sister to get on the ground sounded familiar, but she couldn’t place it. Police then asked her if she knew Bartlett. The adult daughter said she graduated high school with him and was “95% sure” the voice belonged to Bartlett.

Scribner testified Bartlett said in an interview after being taken into custody that he had been running and hiding after a confrontation with some enemies who fired a gun at him. He then fled and hid in the backyard where he was found by police.

Court documents state Bartlett acknowledged knowing the women, but said he would never do anything to hurt them.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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