Ax-wielding man gets 3 years in New Mexico prison

·2 min read

Jan. 19—State District Judge T. Glenn Ellington on Tuesday sentenced an Acoma Pueblo man to three years in prison as part of a plea agreement that settles one case accusing him of vandalism and three cases alleging probation violations.

Brandon Begay, 32, appears to have been living on the streets of Santa Fe for several years and was charged with multiple crimes, including public acts of aggression and criminal damage to property.

He first made headlines in June 2020 when police encountered him at a downtown park, where he was suspected of waving a whip and ax at passersby. After tossing the ax at a Santa Fe police, he was struck with an electronic stun gun and arrested, according to a police report.

In July 2020, he was accused of breaking into a vehicle at Tomasitás and waving a pistol at the vehicle's owner, who came upon the scene after leaving the restaurant, court records show.

A week later, he was charged with joining another man in assaulting a woman. Reports said all three people involved in the incident were homeless.

Begay agreed to a plea deal in March that settled reduced charges in those cases and imposed a suspended sentence of three years, according to court records, but he violated the terms of the deal by picking up new charges and testing positive for drugs.

He drew public attention again in August, when he was accused of smashing the windows of numerous cars on a Saturday afternoon at Trader Joe's, reports said. He was charged with 12 counts of criminal damage to property.

Ellington imposed the prison time that had been suspended in the 2021 deal as part of the new plea deal.

Begay has been held without bond since the August incident and will receive credit for time served.

Begay made no statements Tuesday, other than to ask whether he would be eligible for day-for-day good time credits while serving his sentence in a New Mexico prison. The judge told him he would.