Details sealed in Ignacio murder case

A district court judge issued a gag order Friday in the first-degree murder case against a Farmington man suspected of killing an Ignacio man earlier this week.

Elijah Timothy Anglin, 18, is suspected of shooting and killing Joey Benavidez, 39, on Tuesday in Ignacio. A second suspect, identified by authorities as Tommy Lee Mitchell, 19, of Farmington remained at large Friday.

Public defense lawyer Faith Winstead asked 6th Judicial District Judge David Dickinson to consider several motions intended to protect her client’s rights.

She asked that law enforcement not be allowed to speak with Anglin without first contacting the public defender’s office. Dickinson denied the request.

She asked that her office be allowed to observe photo lineups involving her client. Dickinson granted the request.

She asked that lawyers and law enforcement be prevented from speaking to the public about the case. Dickinson approved the request in part: He limited what lawyers and law enforcement can say to the media.

A similar motion – commonly referred to as a “gag order” – was struck down earlier this year by District Judge Jeffrey Wilson, who said if legal professionals followed their code of ethics, there was no need for such an order.

The motions are considered routine in high-profile cases involving serious charges.

An arrest affidavit that details the allegations against Anglin remains sealed from the public.

Anglin appeared Friday in District Court for the second day in a row.

He sat next to his public defense lawyers and appeared to be attentive to every detail. Two women – one middle-aged and one elderly – and a man sat behind him in the courtroom gallery. A middle-aged woman mouthed the words, “I love you,” and blew him a kiss. They declined to comment outside the courthouse.

Anglin and Mitchell are suspected of shooting and killing Benavidez at his mother’s house about 4:10 p.m. Tuesday.

District Attorney Todd Risberg characterized it as a drug deal gone bad.

An arrest warrant for first-degree murder has been issued for Mitchell, who is described as black, 5-foot-4, 136 pounds, with brown eyes and short black hair. Authorities said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to call La Plata County Sheriff’s Investigator Dan Patterson at 382-7015 or Investigator Jim Hendricks at 382-7018.

shane@durangoherald.com

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