Police Handcuff Citizen, Drive to Remote Location, Blow His Head Off With Shotgun

Victoria Prieskop | Courthouse News Service


Two Albuquerque police officers killed a man and dumped his body in an arroyo in 1976 and the Albuquerque Police Department covered it up for 40 years, the late José Farfan’s son claims in court.

Dino Farfan sued Albuquerque on Aug. 5 in Bernalillo County Court. He claims that on April 26, 1976, Albuquerque police Officers Robert Earl Davis and Robert Todd Hobson arrested his father, José Farfan, on misdemeanor charges of receiving stolen property.

Farfan was quickly released from custody but on his way home from jail, Davis and Hobson found him and handcuffed him and drove him to a remote area east of the city, Dino Farfan says.

He claims the officers later admitted they beat the prisoner and shot him at least twice, including a shotgun blast that decapitated him, then left the body in an arroyo. Albuquerque police and the attorney general’s office “were repeatedly provided with evidence confirming Davis’s and Hobson’s told in Mr. Farfan’s murder,” his son says in the complaint.

In 2008, APD cold case investigator Det. Rich Lewis began reviewing the killing, and found “conclusive proof that David and Hobson had murdered Mr. Farfan” and “that evidence of the same crime had gone missing,” the complaint states.

Albuquerque police Lt. Roger Anderson also wrote a report “documenting that Davis and Hobson murdered Mr. Farfan,” according to the lawsuit.

Dino Farfan says Albuquerque police suspected the two officers killed other people as well.

According to the complaint, in January 2011, Det. Lewis obtained the cold case file of a man named Gene May, who was murdered in 1979. May’s granddaughter had asked for a status report. Lt. Anderson’s report was in the May cold case file, Dino Farfan says.

“From the Anderson report, Detective Lewis learned that Davis and Hobson were suspected of murdering Mr. May and also the murder of a man named Robert Ramon Campos. That report also indicated that during the investigation into the disappearance of Mr. May, Hobson confessed to participating in the kidnapping and murder of Mr. Farfan,” the complaint states. “This confession took place in 1981. No charges were ever brought against Davis or Hobson.” Nor was the Farfan family notified.

In fact, Dino Farfan says, Anderson’s report included not only “other information documenting Davis’s and Hobson’s role in Mr. Farfan’s murder,” but “discussion regarding a group of APD officers suspected of numerous crimes in several states.”

Quoting the Anderson report, the complaint states: “Former APD Officers Robert Davis, Robert Todd Hobson, John Harper, and Donald Bailey were suspected of being involved in numerous burglaries and robberies in NM, Texas, Arizona and Colorado. These crimes occurred while these men were still employees of the Albuquerque Police Department and continued after they were terminated. After arrests were made some of these former officers began to cooperate with investigators, and provided information regarding the burglaries and robberies.”

One officer who was arrested and cooperated with Randall Doucett, Farfan says in the lawsuit. In an interview with investigators, Doucett “reprised a conversation he had with Davis,” Farfan says. “In that conversation, Davis said he murdered ‘a drug dealer, a low life, no good Mexican that nobody would miss.’ Davis also said he shot Mr. Farfan, and that Hobson was involved in the murder. Again, this information was obtained in 1981.”

In 1983, assistant district attorney James Tierney wrote a memo to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office to “set out the case against Davis and Hobson for Mr. Farfan’s murder,” the complaint states. But when Det. Lewis sought a copy of the memo, it could not be found. Also missing from police records were Jose Farfan’s missing persons case file, and several other case files relating to possible crimes committed by Officers Davis and Hobson, including “two other related murders,” according to the complaint.

Davis and Hobson were fired in 1976 after they arrested a man at his home, then returned and burglarized it after booking him into jail, according to the complaint.

In October 2008, Dino Farfan says, Det. Lewis interviewed retired APD Deputy Chief Richard Montoya, who told him “that APD had previously conducted an investigation in which it was determined that Davis and Hobson had kidnapped and murder Mr. Farfan.” But that case file was missing too.


Finally, in January this year, Dino Farfan says, Det. Lewis met with the Farfan family and “told them of his findings and conclusions.”

Dino Farfan seeks damages for wrongful death, battery, civil rights violations, and tortious acts resulting in death.

He is represented by Matthew Garcia, who did not return a telephone message requesting comment on.

Published by Courthouse News Service.