Davon Lymon Timeline: 15 years on law enforcement’s radar

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Chief among the questions still swirling around Albuquerque Police officer Daniel Webster’s death last October is: why did law enforcement allow his alleged killer, Davon Lymon, to remain free after undercover agents from the federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allegedly purchased heroin and firearms from him?

The ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is now prosecuting Lymon for the alleged sales, have refused to answer questions from New Mexico In Depth for nearly two months. The ATF also has not responded to an inquiry about its decision to not arrest Lymon from U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-Albuquerque.

That question is particularly salient given its potential implications for the way law enforcement conducts ongoing undercover operations, either through the work of federal-local task forces or by federal agencies on their own.

Lymon’s alleged shooting of Webster quickly became a rallying point in a broad public policy debate over the New Mexico criminal justice system.

But high-profile officials who urged stricter laws after the shooting never disclosed the ATF’s dealings with Lymon — that came out later, in a court motion filed by his attorneys — so under-cover operations have been left out of the debate.

Instead, officials from Mayor Richard Berry to Gov. Susana Martinez to state Reps. Nate Gentry and Paul Pacheco focused on what they called weak laws and a soft system as the causes of Lymon’s freedom at the time of Webster’s death. Before and during this year’s legislative session, they pushed for an expansion of the state’s three-strikes law that would allow prosecutors to lock up more repeat offenders for life, adding police officers to the state’s hate crimes statute, allowing judges to deny bail to some criminal defendants, and allowing retired police officers to return to work while still collecting their pensions.

Although much of the legislation failed, lawmakers kept the Webster shooting, along with a few other high-profile cases, at center stage for much of the debate.

But the reality of Lymon’s interactions with the criminal justice system was far more complicated than the political rhetoric before and during the legislative session let on.

4 thoughts on “Davon Lymon Timeline: 15 years on law enforcement’s radar

  1. ? Why did 2nd DA recuse from his murder case? And why didn’t 2nd DA not recuse self in latest cases?
    ?Which gang is Lymon with?
    ?Does he have snitch status? With whom?
    ?Why didn’t woman with him on cycle at Webster murder get charged? Woman with BCSO Benner killer did.
    Partnerer in Chanslor murder (Gabriel Armendariz) also got lax sentence and in 2012 participated in Juan Soto murder in SF, and got weak charges for it. Armendariz partner in that (Ryan Dimas) is son of SFPD and was not charged at all.
    Lymon is a thread running – pull it and dirt will reveal.

    • The young lady traveling with Armendariz knew of his intention to kill the officer, in the moment when he went to her aid, she chose not to warn him. There is no evidence that Lymon’s passenger had any idea that he would kill Officer Webster–apparently it happened so fast, there wasn’t time for Lymon to plan anything, much less discuss it with her on the back of a motorcycle. The rest of your questions deserve answers. Hope we get them…

    • Thanks, Matt. So many points along the line, so we felt like something visual/interactive would help readers through the story a little better. Appreciate the kind words.

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