Investigation into inmate escape shows warning signs

Posted at: 04/10/2013 6:55 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Valerie Guzman
Photo: Valerie Guzman

The investigation into how MDC inmate Valerie Guzman was able to escape UNM Hospital has concluded.

It found the corrections officer in charge of guarding Guzman was not attentive while watching her and that gave Guzman the opportunity to escape.

Guzman may have hinted about what was about to happen on February 12.

One officer said Guzman asked, “…If I have ever heard of any inmates escaping while I was working, because she knew of one that had before…”

She also asked “what they do if people escape and I told her I didn’t know,” said the guard in a written statement.

Guzman ended up escaping and called KOB Eyewitness News 4, saying the MDC officer watching her fell asleep on the job.

The investigation found while Guzman was at the hospital, officer Robert Montoya “removed the restraints and allowed Guzman to enter the bathroom.”

Montoya said he “took off the restraints because the inmate was supposedly pregnant.”

He also closed the curtain “for extra privacy due to the fact that inmate Guzman is a female.”

When Guzman was re-arrested, she again told officials at MDC that Montoya fell asleep.

The documents MDC provided show no mention of whether Montoya fell asleep on the job.

But they do say Montoya had no idea Guzman slipped out until a nurse told him Guzman was running to the elevator.

MDC says Montoya violated policy “inattentiveness to duty” and was suspended for five days.

He continues to be employed by MDC.