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Alleged detention center escapee pleads not guilty

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A Chaves County Detention Center inmate who allegedly escaped from the facility before being captured following an hours-long standoff with law enforcement has pleaded not guilty to one criminal count.

Daniel Cobos (Submitted Photo)

Taylor Jaggers, deputy district attorney for New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District and prosecutor in the case, confirmed that Daniel Cobos, 37, of Roswell, entered a formal plea of not guilty to one count of escape or attempt to escape from jail when he appeared at his arraignment hearing Monday in Chaves County.

District Judge Jared Kallunki scheduled a jury trial in Cobos’ case for the week of April 12, according to electronic court filings.

Ira Shiflett, Cobos’ attorney, did not reply to emails requesting comment before press time Tuesday.

Cobos touched off a manhunt through Roswell and surrounding areas on the evening of Oct. 3 when, according to court documents, he entered an unlocked bathroom at the detention center and crawled through the ceiling. Once outside the building, he reportedly exited the detention center grounds through a gap in the fence.

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He was later found on the night of Oct. 4 at a 2500 block of Portales Road residence north of Roswell.

A standoff involving deputies, State Police and the RPD SWAT team later ensued when Cobos reportedly refused calls to exit the house.

Hours later, members of the RPD SWAT team entered the house after deploying gas canisters into the residence. Court records state Cobos was found in a back room hiding under a blanket while armed with a knife and air soft rifle.

After initially refusing to comply with orders, Cobos was taken into custody without further incident.

Cobos is currently being held in pretrial detention at the Chaves County Detention Center.

In addition to the escape from jail charge, court records indicate Cobos is awaiting trial in several other cases on charges including resisting, evading or obstructing an officer; armed robbery; and possession of a controlled substance.

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

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