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Two enter guilty pleas in Ignacio murder
6/6/2008 By: Carole McWilliams
Two enter guilty pleas in Ignacio murder
By Carole McWilliams
Times senior staff writer
Two other defendants in the killing of Joseph Greany have entered guilty pleas in his murder plus an assault with grievious injuries to Tammy Porambo earlier in the night of partying and drinking by the victims and defendants.
In addition to murder and kidnapping charges faced by Johnita Taylor and Isaac Headman, April Watts and Monica Williams were charged with assault with intent to murder and assault resulting in substantial bodily injury for their assault on Porambo.
Each has pleaded guilty to one first degree murder charge and to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Under the plea agreements, the second murder charge plus the kidnapping and assault with intent charges will be dropped.
The plea agreements are contingent on Watts’ and Williams’ cooperation in the prosecutions of Taylor and Headman.
The agreements provide for maximum 25-year sentences, based on that cooperation, with recommendations for 20- to 25-year sentences on both counts to run concurrently. They could have faced life sentences.
Fines and restitution also could be imposed.
Williams entered a guilty plea on April 18. Watts entered her guilty plea on May 23.
According to the stipulation of facts in both plea agreements, the four defendants, plus Greany and Porambo, started partying and drinking together on August 22 last year.
They left the Sidekick Lounge in Ignacio at about 2 a.m. on August 23 and continued drinking, first at Watts’ apartment on Shoshone Avenue, then at Taylor’s mother’s house on Northridge Drive, outside town limits.
Watts and Williams got into a fight with Porambo there and beat her unconscious. Taylor called dispatch.
An SUPD officer called an ambulance and Porambo was taken to the hospital. Taylor told the officer Porambo was drunk and the injuries were from falling.
The officer left the house at about 4:30 a.m. The others continued partying. Taylor and Greany started arguing. Headman attacked Greany, and Watts and Williams joined in. Then Taylor joined in. They hacked off Greany’s long hair with a kitchen knife and scissors.
They finally dragged Greany outside and put him in the trunk of the car they were using. According to the stipulation of facts in both pleas, Taylor initiated the proposal to kill Greany, and went back into the house to get the kitchen knife.
The four defendants drove by back roads to a place behind a Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance garage, where they dragged Greany out and killed him.
SUPD Chief Zachary Rock saw their car pulling back onto the highway and because of their erratic driving he followed them back to the house on Northridge. He confronted Taylor after the other three defendants ran into the house. Rock saw Headman in the house and recognized him as the driver.
The car was going to be towed. Taylor said she had hair extensions in the trunk and asked to remove them. When the trunk was opened, Rock saw bloody clothing. He arrested Taylor and Williams, who had come out of the house.
According to testimony at the Taylor/ Headman evidence suppression hearing Wednesday (see other story), Rock confronted Taylor at about 6:22 a.m., and Greany’s body was found at about 9:45 a.m. that day.
Coroner Dr. Carol Huser did the autopsy on Aug. 24. She determined the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries and stab wounds. She removed an eight-inch knife blade from the base of Greany’s neck.
The case is in federal court because the killing happened on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, and all the defendants and victims are Native American.
The four defendants could have faced the death penalty, but U.S. Justice Department officials decided against that in January.
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