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Calls from jail reveal inmate's scheme to avoid charges

Caleb James
September 20, 2017 08:27 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A phone call between a violent repeat offender and his girlfriend from inside jail reveals a conniving plan. In the call, the accused offender brags about getting out of his crimes by utilizing a bit of acting.

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It's surprising, especially when it is so clearly announced that inmate phone calls are recorded. But that man, Jerry Jojola, appears to admit he has lied before by pretending to be mentally disabled to dodge incarceration.

Jojola faces charges of child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, fleeing an officer and drug trafficking. During 2016, Jojola made more than 300 phone calls from inside the Metropolitan Detention Center, in some assuring his girlfriend he's ready to fight behind bars.

In other calls, Jojola gets chatty with his girlfriend about some undeniably adult stuff. The couple talks about posting photos together on social media to make the mother of Jojola's child jealous. Jojola even reminisces about sex on drugs, along with a keen interest in the jail's commissary system and his account balance.

"Text my sister and tell her to please make sure she orders commissary again on Monday and just puts $10 in my books," he said in one call.

 There are hours of these calls, hundreds of them -- 15 minutes each on average. It shows Jojola has a pretty solid understanding of some grown-up concepts.

But then he starts talking through an idea to get away with his crimes. Jojola uses some offensive slang to suggest he's pretended to be mentally disabled to avoid charges.

Jojola: "I should have just stayed there and played the retarded card, huh?"
Girlfriend: "You got away last time with it."
Jojola: "I should have, huh? I got away last time with it, remember?"

It is unclear what incident Jojola refers to, but he's facing a laundry list of charges.

The admission is important. Bernalillo County prosecutors may use the recordings to prove that Jojola was fully aware of his actions and not mentally incapacitated at all.

The district attorney's office has combined Jojola's charges into a much larger case, and they're currently prosecuting him.

Credits

Caleb James

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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