CHIMAYO, N.M. (KRQE) – A mom and dad were arrested after Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Deputies found them incredibly intoxicated with their less than 1-year-old infant in their car. However, the charges against them were dropped.
It happened around 5 p.m. on June 23 in Chimayo. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office was called to a home along Camino de Los Ranchos.
When the deputy gets there, lapel video captures a rather chaotic scene. Crystal Dominguez was laying on the ground next to the driver’s side of a Nissan Altima parked in a driveway. She was unconscious.
On the other side of the vehicle, barely able to sit up straight, was Andrew Trujillo.
Witnesses, one of which was a volunteer firefighter, say they initially found Trujillo in the middle of Camino de Los Ranchos passed out and Dominguez behind the wheel of the car, also passed out.
As captured in the video, a neighbor is holding and comforting the couple’s nine-month-old infant daughter who was found in the backseat of the Altima.
Trujillo tells the deputy he and Dominguez drank a 750ml bottle of Crown Royal whiskey. The deputy later finds an empty 200ml bottle of whiskey in the center console of the Altima, along with an open Bud Light can.
Trujillo says he and Dominguez were going apricot picking. It’s unclear how they ended up in the driveway of this home, which belongs to someone they know. The homeowner says her boyfriend is friends with Trujillo.
Firefighters check out the baby on scene, who turns out to be OK. She is later put in Trujillo’s mother’s custody. It’s unclear how long she was in the car.
Trujillo and Dominguez went to jail on child abuse charges. Court records show the case against each has since been dismissed “nolle prosequi.”
KRQE News 13 reached out to District Attorney Marco Serna who said based on the case law of State v. Garcia, he wouldn’t be able to prove child abuse or that the child was in harm’s way in court.
The state wouldn’t able to prove all elements of the crime. He says if new evidence came forward, like someone saw the couple driving drunk, then his office might be able to refile charges and take a solid case to court.
DA Serna says he would love to move forward with the case, but cannot without more evidence. Serna said had the doors to the car being closed and engine off or drugs were found near the child, that would have been enough to move forward with the case.