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DA’s office drops case against shooting suspect

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The District Attorney’s Office for New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District will not move forward with its case against a man accused of shooting and injuring another man.

Bryan Dillard (Submitted Photo)

Emily Fry, deputy district attorney, said the decision to drop the case against 26-year-old Bryan Dillard of Roswell was announced at a preliminary hearing in District Court Wednesday after several witnesses did not appear.

She added that Dillard, who was being held in pretrial detention, was subsequently ordered released from custody.

Dillard had been charged with one count each of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; conspiracy to commit aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; armed robbery; and bribery of a witness, retaliation and bodily harm, for what prosecutors alleged was his part in the robbery and shooting of another man.

A second suspect, Lorena Beltran, 43, of Roswell, was also charged in connection with the alleged incident, with conspiracy to commit aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; and retaliation against a witness, retaliation-bodily injury.

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Fry on Wednesday said she did not have enough knowledge to comment on the case against Beltran.

When reached about the case, a secretary for Frank Patterson, Dillard’s attorney, said Patterson does not provide comment about his clients.

According to court records and testimony at Dillard’s pretrial detention hearing in late January, Beltran and Dillard allegedly picked the man up on the night of Jan. 5 and drove him to a West Tilden Street residence, where they met up with two women.

Once at the house, Dillard then allegedly robbed the man at gunpoint of $1,000 before Beltran reportedly shot him once in the chest. The man then fled from the house on foot to an East Second Street convenience store, where police were called. The man later identified Beltran as the shooter and attested to Dillard’s role.

Court documents state RPD investigators believed the alleged robbery and shooting was retaliation against the man for cooperating with police in the investigation of a Dec. 18 shooting that left one person injured and in which Dillard was a suspect.

After he was arrested, Dillard reportedly denied being with the man who was shot or Beltran the night of Jan. 5 and insisted he would not do anything to hurt the man.

Electronic court documents state that Dillard is still scheduled to face trial in January for the December shooting, in which he faces charges of aggravated battery, deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.

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

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