Attorney: Man received unfair trial in Rio Rancho officer’s death

SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Supreme Court has heard arguments that a man sentenced to serve life in prison in the 2015 killing of a police officer received an unfair trial.

An attorney for Andrew Romero argued Tuesday that the jury was tainted during his trial because four jurors indicated they had been exposed to some media coverage resulting from the shooting that killed Rio Rancho Officer Gregg Nigel Benner.

KRQE reports that Romero’s attorney argued that none of the 12 jurors should have been exposed to media headlines in the case.

Romero was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, plus 60 years, in 2016. His trial was held in Los Lunas, about 40 miles south of Rio Rancho, because of the amount of local media coverage the case received.

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