An arrest warrant has been issued for a Santa Fe man accused of violently beating his girlfriend and trapping her in her home Saturday before fleeing in the woman’s car.

A criminal complaint filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court says David Trinidad, 33, faces charges of first-degree kidnapping, assault against a household member, aggravated battery, false imprisonment and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. Trinidad’s girlfriend told police she had been at a neighbor’s home that afternoon when Trinidad arrived, grabbed her and forced her back to her home, an arrest warrant affidavit says. He then closed the door and placed a small piece of furniture in front of it, and told the woman she was not allowed to leave, she said.

Trinidad and the girlfriend argued, according to the affidavit, and then he began beating her, saying he was going to kill her and himself.

Eventually, the woman was able to escape and call police from a friend’s house, the affidavit says.

Meanwhile, Trinidad drove off in her car.

The woman was taken to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries, the affidavit says.

Trinidad recently was released from jail after dismissal of charges including aggravated stalking, false imprisonment and battery in a separate case. Court records show he was found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Trinidad has a lengthy history of violent criminal charges, some stemming from his youth, according to court records and news reports.

He was one of six defendants accused in a hate crime case in 2005. All of them pleaded guilty to their roles in the attack authorities called a gay-bashing, in which one young man was beaten into a coma and another was injured.

The case was the state’s first test of a 2003 hate crime law.

Trinidad, who was 17 at the time of the attack and the only juvenile accused in the case, faced adult sanctions after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, battery, conspiracy and criminal damage to property.

The New Mexican reported in April 2006 that at the time he was sentenced, he already had been committed to a juvenile facility for two years for violating his probation stemming from the rape of a 4-year-old boy.

A state district judge sentenced him to a 10-month sex offender-treatment program for adults and five years of probation in the hate crime case.

(6) comments

Khal Spencer

These catch-and-release stories are heartbreaking and enraging. But having once been a jury foreman on a domestic violence case, I can say from personal experience how complicated and frought these cases can be when they go to court. My jury wanted to strangle the defendant but based on the law and on the evidence presented at trial, we had to acquit. We felt horrible but the judge said that as a matter of law, we did the right thing, in her opinion. The prosecution had a shaky case and didn't make the best of it.

We have to do better, including making absolutely sure that if a victim testifies in court and we get a conviction, the judicial system doesn't leave the victim vulnerable. How we do that is a good question. I have some of my own ideas, but they are not nice ones. Let's hope we can finally deal with this defendant in a meaningful way.


[thumbup][thumbup] Yes, we do need to do better at getting the mentally ill who are violent off the street. The trouble is that our legal system gives the accused the benefit of the doubt and sometimes the evidence available just doesn't make it possible to find people guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

I do believe, though, that we need to find better ways of discovering which mentally ill person is likely to commit a violent crime in the future and which ones are not likely to.

We like the idea that we will not be convicted of a crime when there is doubt as to whether we have actually committed a crime, but we also hate it when possible violent offenders' possible crimes are dismissed when we feel as if that accused is "darn well guilty". I don't know the case in question here, but obviously someone doubted that he was likely to commit another violent crime. This dilemma is caused by our constitution which insists that the accused must be guilty beyond doubt in order to find that person guilty.

MC Gurule

Sometimes the victims do not wish to pursue charges in fear that the perpetrator will send someone to harm them or they will come back after they get out of jail.

Mark Ortiz

MC, There lies the problem. FYI, also in the May 24, 2020 article, Carmack-Altwies's opponent, stated "Fuqua said domestic violence cases need to be “more aggressively prosecuted,” and prosecutors need to find ways to get convictions even when victims recant or decline to testify out of fear of their abuser." I get that that has and will always be an issue but at least he brought it up. It's interesting, whenever there is an article on immigration or employers not paying workers, Marcela Diaz and Somos Unidos is being quoted in the paper. I may be comparing apples to oranges but , are reporters going to Esperanza Shelter personnel for quotes, feedback, suggestions. I know they are my go to charity but I wonder who if they ever endorse DA candidates. It'd also be nice to know if the City of Santa Fe is sending money their way.

Mark Ortiz

Trinidad recently was released from jail after dismissal of charges including aggravated stalking, false imprisonment and battery in a separate case. Court records show he was found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Didn't DA Mary Carmack-Altwies run on being a lifelong advocate for women? Oh no wait, she an advocate for the beaten AND the beater.

Carmack-Altwies also plans to create a diversion program that would offer counseling to all parties in domestic violence cases (which I think is important), SFNM 11-3-2020

“If you are committing violent crimes in our community, we are not going to do a slap on the wrist anymore,” she said. 5-24-2020

As the former Assistant DA in charge of the Violent Crimes and Special Victims Unit I thought victims of domestic violence would be higher on her list of priorities.


It may be that the evidence on this accused person just wasn't there beyond a reasonable doubt. We are, a nation of laws, not a nation of hunches.

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