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State v. Cotton

Court of Appeals of New Mexico
790 P.2d 1050 (1990)



In 1987, Cotton (defendant) was charged with the crime of engaging in sexual conduct with his stepdaughter. While in jail awaiting trial, Cotton wrote many letters to his wife discussing his strategy for defending against the charges. Specifically, he wrote a letter to his wife telling her to convince his stepdaughter not to testify against him. He instructed his wife to offer his stepdaughter money to leave the state so she could not testify. Unknown to Cotton, his cellmate intercepted this letter and turned it over to the authorities. Cotton wrote his wife another letter indicating that he had revised his plans and that he was arranging to be released in bond; he stated that his wife should try to arrange for the stepdaughter to visit at Christmas and convince her not to testify or to testify favorably for Cotton. He never mailed the second letter. Upon his release on bond two days later, Cotton was arrested and charged with criminal solicitation and conspiracy. After a trial, a jury convicted Cotton of two counts of criminal solicitation. Cotton appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Donnelly, J.)

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