FARMINGTON — A Monday night fight between two drunken men in Farmington turned deadly, police said.

Anthony Norberto, 34, of Farmington, was fatally stabbed with a six-inch hunting knife while he was a passenger in a truck on Melba Lane, officials said.

Chavez Charles Martin Jr., a 49-year-old Shiprock man, was arrested late Monday night on suspicion of stabbing Norberto. He was charged with murder and tampering with evidence, according to court documents.

A stabbing was reported shortly after 9 p.m. on Monday. Police found a 2012 Dodge Ram truck parked in the middle of the road and Norberto in the front passenger seat bleeding profusely, Farmington police Lt. Taft Tracy said.

He was stabbed in the upper left chest, the left side of his neck near his shoulder and in his back, according to court documents. He was pronounced dead at San Juan Regional Medical Center at about 9:30 p.m.

The stabbing reportedly happened in Martin's 2012 Dodge Ram truck.

Darlene Upshaw, who was driving the vehicle when the stabbing took place, told police that Norberto and Martin started drinking together at 8 a.m. Monday, according to court documents.

Upshaw told police she parked Martin's truck outside Norberto's house near 800 Melba Lane and Martin, Norberto and another woman were drinking heavily. Martin and Norberto started arguing about Norberto's childhood, according to the documents.


Upshaw said she started driving and Norberto and Martin continued fighting and punching each other. Then Martin pulled a knife and started stabbing Norberto, according to the documents.

Martin was in the back seat and reached up and stabbed Norberto, Farmington police Lt. Taft Tracy said.

Upshaw parked the truck near 600 Melba Lane.

Police said Martin got out of the truck after the stabbing, threw the knife in some weeds and ran away. The knife was found about 30 feet from the truck.

He was arrested in the lobby of America's Best Value Inn, 600 E. Broadway Ave., around 11 p.m.

Tracy said Martin was booked into jail early Tuesday morning.

Martin had swelling on his eye and blood on his hands and clothes when police found him, according to the documents. A search warrant for his clothes and DNA was approved late Monday night.

Martin is being held on a $2 million, cash-only bond set by Magistrate Judge Barry Sharer.

Martin is charged with an open-count of murder, which means the charge against him could be amended to either first- or second-degree murder or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

"It makes sense (to charge an open-count of murder) because murder cases get quite a bit of scrutiny and we can uncover additional facts later on," San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said.

Ann Glasson, Norberto's neighbor, said Norberto and Martin spent the three days prior to the stabbing working around Norberto's small home on Melba Lane.

"They were hanging out all day drinking and working in the back yard," she said. "They seemed happy."

Glasson said she heard arguing late Monday night but didn't know until early Tuesday morning her neighbor had been stabbed and killed.

She said Norberto was nice and frequently had his children over to her house.

"He was laid back," Glasson said of Norberto. "He was a dad."


Ryan Boetel can be reached at; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel