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Ryan Westman faces murder charges

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Ryan Westman remains in the custody San Juan County Adult Detention Center, and while he faces a slew of charges in Farmington for his dramatic flee from police, he’s also facing a capital murder charge here in McKinley County for the death of Mitchell “Mark” Chavez.

After a few days on the lam, Westman was located in Gamerco and was pursued by local law enforcement to the San Juan County line.

San Juan law enforcement caught up with him Jan. 25 at a Valero gas station, 4913 E. Main St. in Farmington. The scene quickly took a violent turn when a U.S. Marshal’s Service agent and San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Langley approached Westman.

Westman, 25, struck the agent with his car, and Deputy Chad Langley fired at the vehicle. Westman sustained minor injuries to his arm, but fled the scene. New Mexico State Police caught up with Westman, and rammed the vehicle to put a stop to the chase.

Westman was treated at a Farmington-area hospital prior to being booked into jail.

Meanwhile, the reported assault to 57-year-old Chavez occurred at #15 Zeta St. around 8:30 pm, Jan. 22.

Chavez sustained severe head injuries and was airlifted to Flagstaff where he was taken off life support and passed away earlier this week.

Witnesses told investigators that they weren’t sure what sparked the attack, but Chavez and Westman arrived at the residence together and were attempting to sell a handgun to a home on Zeta Street.

Westman allegedly attacked Chavez with a blunt object as he sat on a couch.

It’s not clear when Westman will be extradited to McKinley County to face a slew of charges in addition to first degree murder. But once extradited, he will be held on “no bond.”