Months after a Bernalillo County jail lieutenant was charged with keeping an inmate locked up after he was supposed to be released, the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office dismissed the case on Tuesday because it could not find the alleged victim.
The DA’s office issued subpoenas to compel 34-year-old Anthony Hice to attend pre-trial interviews but were unsuccessful, according to court documents. The case was dismissed with the option to refile.
Lt. Stephen Perkins, 48, was indicted in November on charges of false imprisonment and tampering with public records – both fourth-degree felonies – after prosecutors said he made the decision to bring Hice back into the jail because he was arguing with guards on the bus. They said he also created a booking sheet for Hice to make it appear as though he should be assessed by a psychiatric unit before being released.
Hice had been booked into jail the previous day on charges of driving while his license was revoked and not having insurance and a judge determined he should be released on his own recognizance.
Perkins was a 20-year employee of the Metropolitan Detention Center and the longtime president of the Bernalillo County Corrections Officer Association. He was put on administrative leave after the charges were filed and an MDC spokeswoman said he has since retired.
Perkins’ attorney, Sam Bregman, wrote in a letter that his client is happy to put the charges behind him. The trial had been scheduled to start later this month.
“These criminal charges should never have been brought against Mr. Perkins to begin with, he has been an excellent public servant and corrections officer for many years,” Bregman wrote. “This is a case that was completely without merit. It is my hope that going forward the District Attorney’s Office will choose to more carefully evaluate their cases before bringing charges.”