FARMINGTON — The alleged ringleader of a kidnapping in which a disabled man was bound, blindfolded and carried away, according to court records, received a 13-year prison sentence on Friday.

District Judge John Dean passed down the sentence to Bernadette Nicoletta Vigil, a 27-year-old Aztec woman.

On Oct. 1, 2012, Jim Jones, a San Juan County resident who lives on disability payments, was sleeping on a couch in a Flora Vista home when he was awakened by Vigil who demanded he give her a ride, according to court documents.

When Jones said no, Vigil, Caitlyn Overson, a 20-year-old Kirtland woman, and Jereth Johnson, a 32-year-old Farmington man, allegedly wrapped duct tape over Jones' eyes and mouth and used zip ties to bind his hands and feet together.

The accused kidnappers then put Jones in the back of his sport utility vehicle and drove off, San Juan County Det. Mike Farni said.

The suspects' vehicle broke down near the intersection of county roads 3100 and 3145, Farni said. Jones freed his legs and escaped.

Johnson allegedly chased him down and dragged him into another vehicle driven by Cordell Werito, a 29-year-old Bloomfield man.

Detectives said Werito drove Jones back to the house where he was sleeping on County Road 350, but two witnesses followed him and called the sheriff's office.

Deputies quickly arrived and arrested all four suspects.

Blood covered Jones face when he was found by deputies, according to court documents.


"Not a day goes by when this doesn't affect me," Jones said in court on Friday. "They said they were going to take me to the woods and kill me. This is an experience I will never forget."

After the suspects were arrested, Vigil told investigators she orchestrated Jones' kidnapping and stole his car because someone said her children were in danger and she had to check on them.

Farni said because Jones received disability payments at the first of every month and the crime happened on Oct. 1, robbery may have been a motive.

Vigil was charged with first-degree kidnapping, possession of methamphetamine, tampering with evidence, aggravated assault, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, battery and resisting, and evading or obstructing an officer.

Vigil pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping which carries a prison sentence of up to nine years and the other charges were dropped. District Judge John Dean sentenced her to the maximum and enhanced her sentence by four years because she has two prior felony convictions.

She pleaded guilty to aggravated fleeing of law enforcement in 2011 and methamphetamine possession in 2006, according to a state court website.

The other suspects charged in relation to the case are awaiting trial.

Johnson was charged with first-degree kidnapping, robbery and tampering with evidence. Overson is charged with second-degree kidnapping, tampering with evidence, resisting, evading or obstructing an officer and battery. Werito is charged with second-degree kidnapping.

Farni credited Jones for testifying against the suspects. He said Jones was hesitant to testify after the four suspects were arrested because he feared retaliation.

"This was a case where a victim was willing to take a stand," he said. "Had it not been for him they all might have walked."