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Ex-sheriff’s charges dropped

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Case stemmed from fight

By The Staff

The criminal charges against former Mora County Sheriff Roy Cordova and another man he allegedly got into a roadside fight with in January have been dropped.

Both Cordova, 39, of Rainsville, and John Gonzales, 34, of Guadalupita had been charged in Mora magistrate court with aggravated battery, public affray and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

Those charges were dropped on Friday, according to online court records. An entry in both men’s records states, “Dismissed by DA’s Office w/out prejudice.” That means that the charges could be filed again at a later date.

District Attorney Richard Flores didn’t immediately respond to two messages left for him on Monday.

A probable cause statement filed by state police officer Frank Chavez in January states that Cordova and Gonzales were involved in an altercation alongside Highway 434 in Guadalupita on Jan. 7.

The two men met on the side of the highway and began fighting, each one reportedly claiming the other started it.

Thomas Garza, the new Mora County sheriff, stated that he was heading home when he saw several people on the side of the highway, with two men that he later recognized as Cordova and Gonzales fighting.

Garza said he saw Cordova throw a rock at Gonzales, hitting him, and both men exchanged punches.

Garza reported that the suspects fell down with Cordova on top and continuing to punch Gonzales in the face. Garza and Gonzales’ family were eventually able to separate the men, who were both arrested and booked.

After losing his bid for re-election last year, Cordova got a gob as a sheriff’s deputy in Valencia County, more than two hours away. He refused to step down as Mora County sheriff, despite concerns voiced by the Mora County Commission.

Cordova resigned his Valencia County job in November after he allegedly hit a guardrail with a squad car, then refused to take an alcohol breath test.