Hunting guides reject plea deal

MARFA – New Mexico hunting guides Walker Daugherty and Michael Bryant, who each face one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of deadly conduct in the discharge of a firearm, rejected plea deals last week, taking them one step closer to trial. According to the Presidio County Clerk’s office, 83rd District Attorney Sandy Wilson’s office expressed interest in combining the two trials into one at the hearing. The defense, however, stated their opposition to the motion. A motion to change venue is also currently pending. According to the D.A.’s office, the hunters will have one final pre-trial hearing, which will be set for the month of the trial, for which no date has been set. A decision on the change of venue motion is expected to take place at the hearing. Daugherty and Bryant were arrested following a January 2017 shootout at the Circle Dug Ranch near Candelaria, which left both Daugherty and Florida chiropractor Edwin Roberts wounded. The shootout was initially blamed on undocumented immigrants, though Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez said the investigation into the shooting with U.S. CBP trackers showed no evidence of any illegal crossing into the United States. Roberts also filed a million-dollar lawsuit in March, naming Daugherty, Bryant, the Circle Dug Ranch Partnership, and the outfitter that employed the two guides as respondents.