SANTA FE — The Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office recent complaint against Jason Lidyard, a former prosecutor who is now a judge, says Lidyard failed to disclose exculpatory evidence about a homicide victim to the defense attorney for the man accused of the killing
Because of that, the office claims it had to give a lenient plea deal to Caleb Calandro, who had been charged with murder.
Calandro, 36, was charged for killing Rustin Radcliffe in a downtown Santa Fe city parking lot in December 2016. On Monday, Calandro pleaded no contest to one charge of involuntary manslaughter for shooting Radcliffe and one count of aggravated battery for shooting and seriously wounding another man in a second, separate case.
Calandro was sentenced to four years in prison but was given credit for time served since his 2016 arrest, giving him about 14 months left to serve.
Calandro was initially charged with first-degree murder in Radcliffe’s death, but the case was dismissed after a judge found that the jury was not properly instructed during the grand jury proceeding that resulted in his indictment. Calandro was re-indicted earlier this year for second-degree murder.
On Monday, the DA’s Office released a statement saying that it had to offer Calandro the lenient plea deal because of conduct by former prosecutor Jason Lidyard, who is now a District Court judge and primarily presides over cases in Rio Arriba County. The DA’s office filed a state bar complaint against Lidyard Monday and released it to the Journal on Thursday.