Adult sentencing for killer of Farmington doctor

August 2, 2014 • State News

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A 20-year-old man convicted of beating a Farmington doctor to death with a pool cue will be sentenced as an adult, a judge ruled Friday.

District Judge William Birdsall made the ruling based on reports from a court-appointed psychiatrist and the Juvenile Probation Office, the Daily Times reported (

“Many of the conclusions contained in the amenability report were, to put it mildly, very concerning to the court,” Birdsall said.

John Mayes, 20, was convicted Nov. 25 in the June 2011 [auth] killing of Dr. James Nordstrom at Nordstrom’s home. Mayes was 17 at the time of the killing. He was found guilty of second-degree murder and aggravated burglary, among other offenses. Prosecutors said Mayes killed Nordstrom during a burglary, while Mayes’ lawyers contended that Mayes was defending himself from an unwanted sexual advance by Nordstrom.

Mayes, who will turn 21 in September, faces a maximum sentence as an adult of 15 years.

Public defender Stephen Taylor has asked that Mayes be allowed to serve any sentence at an alternative facility. Mayes had no previous history of violence, Taylor added.

But prosecutors argue that Mayes would be a danger if released into the community. Chief Deputy District Attorney Brent Capshaw said Mayes’ record of burglary and smoking marijuana should also be considered.

“I think the history indicates an ongoing problem,” he said. “Someone who was resistant to aid by his parents to remedy some of these problems.”

Mayes, Farmington City Manager Rob Mayes’ adopted son, is already facing sentencing in a separate case. At age 18, Mayes and two juveniles plotted to escape from a local juvenile detention center in 2012. The youths planned to snap the neck of a night guard and then scale a fence, authorities said. Mayes pleaded guilty to several charges in the case in exchange for a six-year prison sentence and having a charge of conspiracy to commit murder dropped.

He is expected to be sentenced in both cases within the next 60 to 90 days.

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