SJCSO: Motive behind weekend homicide appears to be scorned love

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AZTEC, N.M. — The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office has arrested three suspects believed to be involved in a homicide over the weekend. 

21-year-old Sierra Collins is facing first-degree charges of accessory to murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Eli and Tyler Chaffin, who are brothers, are both facing first-degree murder charges with conspiracy to commit murder.

Sunday afternoon, down a quiet country road, neighbors were startled by the sound of multiple gun shots.

“Deputies were called to Flora Vista, in between Farmington and Aztec, to a report of an individual being shot,” said Kevin Burns, the investigations captain for the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

Burns said when deputies arrived at the scene they found William Johnson dead in a grassy field outside his home.

A neighbor’s security camera footage captured a white SUV in the area. Burns said it helped detectives identify Eli and Tyler Chaffin as probable suspects.

“Ultimately, the vehicle was determined to come back from family members of Eli and Tyler,” Burns said.

But detectives would soon learn of the third suspect, Sierra.

“The female had met the older of the two brothers and recruited them to essentially defend her honor against comments and text messages that have been made by her ex over the week prior,” Burns said.

The sheriff’s office said this case appears to be relationship gone sour.

“The individuals that committed this crime don’t have a substantial criminal history and it’s very sad that young lives were thrown away at this point over a break up,” Burns added.

Sunday evening detectives arrested the suspects. They will be detained until trial. This case is still under investigation, so the sheriff’s office is urging anyone with any information to call them.