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Monday, February 4, 2008

[NM] Terrorized wife of Co. Jail Top Cop Havel tries to recant

Excerpts from some items on the web from Jan. 15th thru Feb. 2nd:
...Havel's wife said he grabbed her hair and began choking her, then got a gun and threatened to shoot her and himself when she tried to leave the family home Jan. 11. Eventually, Havel told her she could go, but threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the fight...

(There is no mention below about the safety of Mrs. Havel or their five children.)

Jail director arrested on domestic violence charges
The Farmington Daily Times
By James Monteleone
FARMINGTON — San Juan County Detention Center Director Tom Havel was arrested Sunday on felony charges after allegedly beating his wife and holding her against her will while fighting over a divorce. Havel, 54, is charged with second-degree kidnapping, third-degree aggravated battery and third-degree intimidation of a witness. If convicted on all charges, the detention center director could face up to 15 years in prison... Havel's wife claimed that Friday evening, he dragged her by her hair repeatedly while trying to prevent her from leaving their home... After pulling his wife from the car back into the house, Havel began choking her, saying, "Do you realize what I can do to you?" and "I can kill you now," the victim told police. The woman said she escaped the hold by kicking Havel in the groin, but was pulled back from the doorway by her hair, where Havel reportedly said, "We are not done talking yet. We need to finish talking." Havel attempted to pull his wife to a back bedroom, where he had his gun and had cocked it, threatening to kill himself in front of her earlier in Friday night's fight, the report states. While being dragged by Havel who had a gun, the wife told police she went limp, and Havel stopped pulling her. But after another attempt to escape, he grabbed her again, she told police. Havel later told her she could leave, but allegedly said, "If you tell anyone about this I will hunt you down and kill you." The police report dated Sunday stated officers would contact Havel for an interview before seeking an arrest warrant... Havel was released from custody at the San Juan County Detention Center after posting a $40,000 bond. He is on paid administrative leave... The role Havel plays in San Juan County's legal system presents a conflict of interest for prosecuting attorneys, District Attorney Lyndy Bennett said. "Various people in our office do work fairly closely with Mr. Havel, so we just thought it would be in everyone's best interest, including his, that we conflict the case out"...

Wife of Farmington jail director asks that charges be dropped
The Associated Press
The wife of the San Juan County Detention Center's director has asked prosecutors to drop a domestic violence case she began against him... She said in a notice to the court Tuesday that the incident was a private matter that was blown out of proportion and that she wanted charges dismissed. She also said in the affidavit that she was not threatened into signing the document. Her affidavit was filed in magistrate court through Tom Havel's attorney, Sarah Weaver. Weaver and Havel had no comment Thursday. The district attorney's office said charges won't necessarily be dismissed. "We believe if a crime happened, especially a serious crime, then we have an obligation to present it to the court," Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said. "We do get affidavits of non-prosecution in domestic cases on a fairly regular basis"... According to a Farmington police report, Havel's wife said he grabbed her hair and began choking her, then got a gun and threatened to shoot her and himself when she tried to leave the family home Jan. 11. Eventually, Havel told her she could go, but threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the fight...

The real meaning of honor, courage
Editor: This is written on behalf of all who want desperately to voice this shared opinion, but are forced not to do so for fear of "retaliation." In all my years as an officer, I thought I had seen it all until now. When I transferred to the county jail here, I was amazed that the division I joined was run by a man who — to the best of my knowledge — had never actually worked in a jail, although to his credit he does have law enforcement in his background. Tom Havel always pushed his "core values" on the entire division, values which he had retained from his military service and even had painted on the walls at one point for the inmates to see every day, values we were all expected to adhere to: honor, courage, and commitment... We who wore and continue to wear that badge can do nothing short of our best each and every day. We do not claim to be perfect, and have made our own share of mistakes, but we never place ourselves up on a high pedestal, only to fall flat on our faces as Tom Havel has now. My only hope is that justice will prevail and the community's trust in those who wear that uniform, despite everything bad in the papers, will be restored. That is commitment. A man who abuses his position for personal gain has no honor, a man who abuses a woman has no courage, and a man who does not care that his cowardice has brought dishonor upon his entire division staff shows that he has no commitment to their cause...

Writer: `What goes around, comes around'
Editor: It couldn't have happened to a more deserving person... "Jail director arrested on domestic violence charges." San Juan County Detention Center Director Tom Havel finally got his turn... I'm sure Tom Havel has heard the old familiar saying, "What goes around, comes around." This is a time when the saying fits the crime, and it couldn't be more fitting...


  1. Even though this happen long ago its a shame that due to his position he as not only not jailed but housed in his office for the mandatory 24 hour cooling off period but he was allowed to visit part of the night with his wife the alleged victim alone in his office. If it was you or me we would been charged with new crimes but because of his position she recants after that meeting and all charges are dropped and everything is covered up

    1. I'm sure she has probably got the message that no one can or wants to help her. This is very sad.


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