ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As tensions rise in the high-profile murder case against Davon Lymon, a local judge issued a letter to attorneys on Tuesday expressing her concern about the disrespectful tone of recent filings.
Second Judicial District Judge Briana Zamora’s letter instructs attorneys to “ensure that all future pleadings are accurate and respectful of the court and opposing counsel.”
In recent weeks, filings have flooded in as the first-degree murder case approaches its March trial date. Lymon, who was in court Thursday, is accused of gunning down Daniel Webster after the Albuquerque police officer stopped his motorcycle in October 2015.
“There is no need for negative comments regarding opposing counsel in any future pleadings,” Zamora wrote before outlining inaccuracies included in filings by both the state and defense.
Lymon’s hearing Thursday was reset after prosecutors with the Attorney General’s Office filed a motion asking the court to consider removing the Law Office of the Public Defender from the case over a potential conflict of interest. They say the conflict arises from the fact that an attorney in that office represented a key witness in the case as she testified against Lymon during a federal trial.
The defense is now questioning the reliability of that witness, Savannah Garcia, who testified that she was with Lymon when he was stopped by Webster. Defense attorneys said in court documents that they believe another woman, Tiana Lozoya, was Lymon’s passenger that night.
Prosecutors asked that defense attorneys turn over any waivers of conflict of interest, and if those are not available, they say the judge should consider removing the LOPD from the case.
Lymon’s attorney Jeff Rein said in court that mechanisms are in place to address those issues, and the judge reset the hearing to allow time for him to respond in writing.
That request comes days after Lymon’s defense attorneys filed a motion in which they allege the state withheld certain information, while affirming that all information had been disclosed.
“For some time it has been ominously apparent to the defense that something feels constitutionally wrong in this case,” Rein said.
As evidence, he points to requests for sanctions against the defense, an “ambush hearing” seeking a warrant for Garcia while both of Lymon’s attorneys were out of town, the “abrasive tone” of the state’s pleadings, among other things.
Rein asks for a remedy “to bring this prosecution within recognized standards of constitutional fairness” or that the case be dismissed for prosecutorial misconduct.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said he could not comment outside of the filed documents, but that the office is preparing the case for trial.