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Ex-deputy on trial for alleged attack

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By David Giuliani

Witnesses on Monday described a former San Miguel County sheriff’s deputy as a jealous woman in a rage when she attacked a man she considered her boyfriend.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Benjie Vigil, who fired the deputy after the incident, said he still believes her side of the story.

Inez Bolivar, 29, was on trial for charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault and criminal damage.

The alleged victim, Adrian Martinez, testified during Bolivar’s jury trial that he was asleep in bed with another woman early the morning of Sept. 20 when Bolivar walked in to wake him up. She was on duty, in uniform and armed with a gun.

He said Bolivar cursed at him and then got on top of him, straddling him at his waist. Then she started punching him in the face, he said.

“I grabbed the blanket, put it over my head and got into a fetal position. I was trying to keep from being hit,” Martinez said.

Then Bolivar, who had been working for the sheriff for two months when the incident happened, kicked Martinez a few times, including in back of the head, he testified.

The woman in the bed backed up his story when she took the witness stand. She also said that Bolivar assured her that the problem wasn’t her fault.

Martinez told the court that he went outside of his house, which is just across from the state hospital, holding a blanket around himself. He said he didn’t have enough time to put his clothes on.

He ran to a nearby house occupied by state police Officer Phil Leger, but Leger wasn’t home. So he tried to get away from Bolivar, who allegedly put her hand at least once on her gun.

At one point, he said he ducked behind Leger’s squad car while the angry Bolivar was on the other side.

“I was afraid she was going to pull it (gun) out and shoot me. She knew she was scaring the hell out of me,” Martinez said.  

The woman in the bed said Bolivar was angry to see another woman with Martinez. The woman said she got her clothes on and left.

Asked why she left, the woman said, “She (Bolivar) told me to. And she was armed. She was in an angry mood. I wasn’t about to stick around.”

During much of Martinez’s testimony, Bolivar shook her head in disagreement and often whispered into the ear of her attorney, Art Bustos.

During a jury break, District Judge Eugenio Mathis chastised Bolivar for staring at Martinez, even when the jury was leaving the room. The judge said it could be seen as intimidating.

“Don’t do it again. You understand?” he asked.

She said she did.

During opening arguments, Bustos argued that his client was defending herself from Martinez, who the attorney alleged was kicking from the bed. He said Martinez and Bolivar had been a couple until the day of the incident, although Martinez maintained that they broke up the year before, admitting to occasional trysts.  

Bolivar wept through much of Bustos’ arguments, frequently pulling tissues from a box.

Martinez too appeared to be having a tough time. When a prosecutor asked him to draw a diagram of his house, Martinez took a moment, saying he was trying to calm himself.

Bustos said his client was planning to testify in the trial. The trial was set to end after press time Tuesday.

Twice in the last couple of months, Bolivar entered plea deals with prosecutors, but Mathis rejected both.

After the incident last year, Sheriff Benjie Vigil, who attended the trial Monday, called the charges against his deputy “false” and “ridiculous.” He said he still backs Bolivar, contending that the incident didn’t happen the way the state says it did.

“If she wanted to injure him, she would have. There is no injury,” the sheriff said. “That’s why I believe her.”

Prosecutors showed pictures of injuries to Martinez’s eyes and the back of the neck that they say were caused by Bolivar. The defense disputes that.