Bench trial rescheduled for man accused of scamming homeowners
January 09, 2018 06:15 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A man accused of scamming several New Mexico families out of thousands of dollars was not happy to see a KOB camera at his bench trial Tuesday morning.
Fred Gurule was scheduled to have a bench trail at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse in front of Judge Courtney B. Weaks. Gurule faces three counts of contracting without a license.
Gurule’s defense attorney made a motion to dismiss the case because neither of the officers involved in the case showed up. Weaks granted a continuance, but with a stipulation.
"I am just going to reset this one time and this will be one time only," the judge said. "I'll make a notation that this will be the one and only continuance for the officers.”
Gurule’s case has been rescheduled for Feb. 19.
She asked Gurule to have a seat while they set up his next court date. On his way back to his seat, Gurule shoved his hand into KOB’s camera, causing surprise and confusion in an otherwise calm, quiet courtroom.
"I actually was looking down at my file so I didn't actually physically see anything, but Mr. Gurule I'm going to warn you, you need to be extremely, extremely respectful and calm when you're in front of me," Weaks said. "If I actually had seen that, you're at risk of being held in direct contempt of court which means you're going to jail and I'm going to sanction you by sentencing you to jail."
Gurule tried to apologize and begin to talk but, Weaks and his attorney quickly instructed him to stop talking.
Since July, several families have reached out to KOB with almost identical stories. They say Gurule would show up to new homes on Albuquerque’s West Side, offered to do various contracting jobs, took a down payment, then disappeared.
One such alleged victim hoped to catch Tuesday’s bench trial. Christopher Martinez said he wanted Gurule to see his face so Gurule knows his actions aren’t going unnoticed.
"It was real tough for our family," said Martinez.
Martinez said Gurule scammed his family out of $700, and now he wants justice.
"I just want to see him either do jail time or just something's got to happen to these guys because they keep getting away with it," Martinez said.
Updated: January 09, 2018 06:15 PM
Created: January 09, 2018 06:19 AM
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