SANTA FE – Charges against a woman who was arrested for battering officers during a protest in Santa Fe last month were dropped Wednesday, possibly due to a miscommunication between the District Attorney's Office and the Santa Fe Police Department.
Jennifer Marley, 21, was charged with two counts of felony battery on a peace officer as well as misdemeanor criminal trespass and disorderly conduct while protesting the Entrada of the Fiestas de Santa Fe on Sept. 8 with members of the Red Nation group. Two Santa Fe Police Department officers claimed Marley hit them with signs she was holding.
All the charges were dismissed in Magistrate Court Wednesday, according to court documents.
District Attorney Marco Serna said Wednesday that his office only had Marley's statement of probable cause and didn't have any police lapel video or statements from officers involved. He said the charges can be refiled or presented to a grand jury when more evidence is available.
“We really don't have much discovery at all,” Serna said. “We need all the videos and supplemental reports before we can make a determination.”
But lapel videos of Marley's arrest were released to reporters in mid-September. Serna said Wednesday that he wasn't sure why his office never got the videos.
“I don't know if something fell through the cracks, but we don't have it,” Serna said.
The District Attorney's Office will typically just receive discovery from police, Serna said, but he wasn't sure Wednesday morning who is at fault for the missing evidence in this case.
SFPD Chief Patrick Gallagher said he wasn't sure why the district attorney didn't get the video, but added that it's his understanding that prosecutors could have requested them, similar to the way defense attorneys request discovery from police.
The Journal reviewed the lapel videos, which didn't clearly show Marley hitting an officer. Dan Cron, Marley's attorney, said he expects the charges to not be refiled due to a lack of evidence.
“Unless there is something someone else has seen at this point, I don't know if there's going to be a different result,” Cron said. “I'm just not aware of evidence that's out there that contradicts the evidence that's been splattered in the media for weeks now.”
Seven other protesters were arrested for criminal trespass, but it's unclear right now if those charges will be dropped because they are being handled by city prosecutors.
The Entrada, which is part of the annual Fiesta, is a re-enactment of the Spanish re-occupation of the Santa Fe in 1692, 12 years after the Pueblo Revolt.