Man accused of jail escape released from custody, skips court date in separate case

SANDOVAL COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) - One of two men accused of escaping from the Sandoval County Detention Center last summer is once again nowhere to be found. This time, however, he didn't escape from jail.

In May 2017, Blake McPherson and Paul Garcia escaped from the Sandoval County Detention Center. It was a high profile case, as Garcia is accused in the death of a girl and her mother.

Meanwhile, McPherson had been sitting in jail on weapons and auto theft charges out of Colorado.

Both were caught within days and charged with escaping from jail -- a felony.

The Sandoval County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to hold McPherson in jail without bond until trial, but later rescinded that motion "in the best interest of justice."

Then in November, KRQE News 13 has learned McPherson was released from the Sandoval County Detention Center on his own recognizance. He was referred to pre-trial services.

That decision was made by District Court Judge George Eichwald and signed off by District Attorney Lemuel Martinez's office.

Court documents suggest that from Sandoval County, McPherson went straight to San Juan County to face unrelated charges of stealing a car, aggravated burglary and theft from October 2016.

For that case, San Juan County District Court Judge Karen Townsend set McPherson's bond at $3,000, unsecured -- which means he didn't have to put up any money to bond out.

Now, McPherson's whereabouts since bonding out in January are a mystery.

He didn't show up to Bernalillo County District Court last week, where he was supposed to face even more charges of car theft from a totally different October 2016 incident.

A Bernalillo County District Court judge has issued an arrest warrant for McPherson.

When reached by phone on Thursday, DA Lemuel Martinez refused to tell KRQE News 13 why his office signed off on releasing McPherson and referring him to pre-trial services.


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