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Inmate pleads not guilty to attacking corrections officer

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A Chaves County Detention Center inmate accused of attacking a corrections officer with a screwdriver has pleaded not guilty to two criminal counts.

Taylor Jaggers, deputy district attorney for New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District, confirmed Tuesday that Jesus Robles, 36, waived a reading of formal charges and entered a plea of not guilty to one count each of aggravated battery upon a peace officer and possession of a deadly weapon or explosive device by a prisoner at an arraignment Monday.

Court documents state Robles allegedly stabbed the corrections officer multiple times in the neck and back with a screwdriver on April 14 while the officer was inspecting the cells in a maximum security unit. The victim sustained numerous scratches and puncture wounds to his back and neck.

Initially the officer did not known what he was being hit with, but court records state he later saw the weapon was “a screwdriver that had the handle broken off, the tip filed and was secured to his (Robles’) wrist with a piece of cloth.”

Security camera footage, according to court records, shows the officer opening the door and peering into Robles’ cell before proceeding to the next cell. Robles then exited the cell and placed his hand on the officer’s left shoulder before allegedly stabbing him with the screwdriver tied to his right arm. The officer continued to be stabbed until he knocked Robles to the ground and other officers helped subdue him.

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Another corrections officer, court records state, later told investigators that Robles said he attacked the officer because he believed the officer helped police listen to phone calls Robles made at the Detention Center. When an investigator met with Robles, court records state, he declined to give a statement.

Robles is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence. A jury found Robles guilty in April of second-degree murder in the Oct. 4, 2019 fatal shooting of his 33-year-old girlfriend Griselda Rascon at her 400 block of Deborah Drive residence.

He was sentenced in May to 15 years in prison on the murder count. The sentence was increased by four years because of Robles’ status as a convicted felon and another year for using a firearm in commission of a crime.

Electronic court records state that Judge Thomas Lilley on Monday set Robles’ trial for Aug 10 on the charges of aggravated battery and possession of a deadly weapon or explosives.

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

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