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Man pleads not guilty to charges in RPD standoff

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A man who engaged in a lengthy armed standoff with Roswell police in June has pleaded not guilty to multiple criminal charges.

Jerry Steven Padilla (Submitted Photo)

On Monday when he appeared via Google Meet at his arraignment in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court in Chaves County, court documents state Jerry Steven Padilla, 46, of Roswell, waived a formal reading of charges and pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, along with one count each of battery of a household member and evading, resisting or obstructing an officer. He also pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in an unrelated case.

He is now being held without bond up through the conclusion of his trial after District Judge Dustin Hunter granted a motion by the District Attorney’s Office to hold him in pre-trial detention.

Padilla was engaged in a standoff June 1 with Roswell police while holed up in his ex-wife’s 1500 block of South Kansas Avenue residence.

Following seven and a half hours, which included the deployment of tear gas and Padilla allegedly firing nearly 20 rounds of ammunition, court documents state he ultimately surrendered to police at 11:58 p.m. No officers were injured.

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Police were called to the South Kansas Avenue home June 1 at 4:15 p.m. in reference to a call from Padilla’s ex-wife, who reported that her ex-husband pushed her down onto a bed and pressed his fist against her chest during an argument.

After he allegedly took her cellphone from her, court documents state, she fled from her residence and tried to go to a neighbor’s house for help.

Padilla then left the house briefly and placed the cellphone on the hood of his 1999 Chevy pickup truck before retreating back into the residence and locking himself inside.

When police arrived on the scene, they ordered anyone inside the residence to come out. Padilla did not come out.

The woman, court documents state, warned police that Padilla usually keeps his firearms in a backpack that might be inside the house.

At about 6:58 p.m., officers and members of the Roswell Police Department’s SWAT team set up a perimeter around the residence. Padilla ignored numerous calls to exit the house and at times could be heard screaming inside the house.

On three occasions, police deployed tear gas into the house through windows as part of an unsuccessful effort to get Padilla out. Each time tear gas was thrown into the house through windows was allegedly followed by gunfire that came from inside the house.

Padilla eventually surrendered to police after SWAT team members were able to breach a door into the house.

Court documents state after Padilla was taken into custody, SWAT team members discovered 15 spent shell casings in a bathroom in the house, along with additional ammunition and three firearms, including a black Taurus handgun. Padilla was also allegedly concealing several vials of Trenbolone — a steroid used on livestock — and Fentanyl narcotics.

Judge Jared Kallunki at Monday’s arraignment scheduled a jury trial in Padilla’s case on charges related to the standoff for July 13.

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