John Mayes, son of Farmington City Manager Rob Mayes, points to a diagram of local doctor James Nordstrom’s residence while his defense attorney,
John Mayes, son of Farmington City Manager Rob Mayes, points to a diagram of local doctor James Nordstrom's residence while his defense attorney, Stephen Taylor, examines him during Mayes' preliminary hearing on Thursday, August 25 2011 in Farmington, N.M.. Mayes is accused of the June 9 murder of Dr. Nordstrom. (AP Photo/The Daily Times, Brandon Iwamoto)
FARMINGTON — John Mayes will spend more than two years in jail before he is tried for murder in the death of a Farmington doctor.

His trial date was moved back last week so District Judge William Birdsall can rule on whether statements Mayes made to investigators can be used in court.

Mayes, 19, has been incarcerated since June 10, 2011 — the same day police found Dr. Jim Nordstrom's body buried under a wood pile in his backyard on San Marcos Drive in Farmington's Foothills neighborhood.

Birdsall said in a motion that Mayes' trial, which had been set for early April, will start August 20.

Mayes, the son of Farmington City Manager Rob Mayes, was 17 years old at the time of his arrest and prosecutors must prove minors know they waived their constitutional rights to remain silent when they talk to police, Chief Deputy District Attorney Brent Capshaw said.

Mayes made five statements to investigators over two days following his arrest, according to a motion filed by Stephen Taylor and Jeffrey Buckels, Mayes' attorneys.

The statements were starkly different from the story he told during his preliminary hearing.

When he was arrested, Mayes told investigators he snuck into Nordstrom's house and hid in the doctor's bedroom, armed with a pool cue, for more than an hour before he attacked Nordstrom.


Mayes said he beat the doctor in the head eight times with the thick end of the stick before he tried to clean up the bloody mess and hide the body, according to the affidavit for his arrest.

During his preliminary hearing in August 2011, Mayes said he met Nordstrom, 55, while he washed his truck outside his home. Mayes asked if he could spend a night at the house and Nordstrom agreed.

Mayes said he ate and watched television with Nordstrom. He took a tour of the house. They shot pool.

Then the doctor allegedly tried to seduce Mayes, asking Mayes if he wanted to "try something new," so Mayes beat him to death.

After Nordstrom was dead Mayes allegedly stole his truck and credit card and went shopping.

Capshaw said there will be a hearing to determine whether the story Mayes told after his arrest can be used at trial.

Mayes signed a waiver giving up his right to remain silent before police talked to him. The interviews were recorded, and investigators will testify during a hearing about their conversations with Mayes, Capshaw said.

Capshaw said it's not unusual for several motions to be litigated before a complex murder case goes to trial.

"I've expressed some concern in court," he said. "I wanted it said out loud the state has concerns with speedy trial issues."

A defendant has a right to a speedy trial. Mayes has waived that right.

Though Nordstrom's friends and family will wait more than two years for an outcome in the case, it's important to resolve issues that could lead to appeals before trial, Capshaw said.

Mayes is charged with murder in the first degree, aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and fraudulent use of a credit card.

"It's better to take your time and hopefully we'll get it done right," he said.

Mayes' attorneys could not be reached for comment.