The lawyer for a defense attorney accused of shooting a man in the leg at a legal office Downtown said his client and his wife were assaulted before he pulled the trigger Tuesday morning.
Ray Twohig, representing fellow defense attorney David “Chip” Venie, declined to elaborate exactly how Stephen Biddinger assaulted Venie and his wife, Cynthia, during a dispute at Venie’s office on Lomas NW, but he said Venie’s actions were necessary.
“(Biddinger) came toward him in a threatening manner,” Twohig told reporters after Venie’s initial court appearance in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court on Thursday. “And he had to be shot.”
Venie pleaded not guilty Thursday to the felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Police said the dispute, captured on a Cynthia Venie’s cellphone camera, shows Biddinger walking slowly toward Venie with his arms raised to show he had no weapons.
Twohig also claimed in a news release that Biddinger falsely accused Venie during the argument of insulting him earlier on the sidewalk outside the District Attorney’s Office. Biddinger told police Venie shot him because he smelled bad.
Police have not said what the dispute was over.
Biddinger was found slumped against the office’s front door, and a single bullet casing was found on the floor of the office’s lobby entrance.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal