Charges against a New Mexico woman accused of kidnapping a Pittsburg County teenager in April 2018 were dismissed Wednesday.
Kristen Aragon, 36, of Farmington, New Mexico, was originally charged May 4 with felony kidnapping of a child and felony lewd or indecent proposal to a minor. After the case was dismissed and re-filed in July, Aragon received another felony charge of solicitation for child pornography.
The three felony charges were dismissed Wednesday against Aragon by prosecutors “in the interest of justice,” according to a court document.
District 18 District Attorney Chuck Sullivan said the decision to dismiss was made after a review of the evidence.
“As we got closer to trial and carefully scrutinized the evidence, there were some evidentiary issues that were very compelling and problematic for the state given the burden of proof that we have and the ethical duty we have in making a prosecution decision,” Sullivan said . “In light of the evidence that we received and reviewed, we felt it was in the best interest to dismiss at this time.”
Matthew Sheets, Aragon’s defense attorney, commended the DA’s office for “doing the right thing” for his client.
“They elected to dismiss this case when they believed in my client’s innocence instead of continuing to prosecute the case to avoid bad press,” Sheets said. “This is how the justice system is supposed to work.”
In August, charges were dismissed against a second New Mexico woman, Melissa Goelz, who rode with Aragon to Oklahoma to pick up the boy. A judge wrote in the decision that he believed that Goelz believed the minor was going with them voluntarily “due to a desire to run away,” according to court documents.
Both women were originally charged after the boy’s father reported his son missing and an investigation by the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Department found that Aragon met the boy online and spoke with him before she drove 14-hours to Pittsburg County to pick him up and bring him back to New Mexico.
The boy was returned home safely after Aragon’s cellular phone was tracked to her residence in Farmington, New Mexico, where officers intercepted the vehicle as it pulled into the residence.
Contact Derrick James at [email protected]