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State District Court judge rules APD shooting unconstitutional

UPDATE: Deputy City Attorney Kathy Levy, who represents APD, has issued a statement regarding state District Court Judge Shannon Bacon’s ruling in the wrongful death case filed by the family of Iraq war veteran Kenneth Ellis III.

“Detective  Lampiris-Tremba and the City are disappointed in Judge Bacon’s ruling. We firmly believe the issues in this case should have been submitted to a jury for its deliberation and judgment. Prior to discharging his weapon, Detective Lampiris-Tremba reasonably perceived an imminent threat of deadly harm from Kenneth Ellis who was armed. Due to the fact that there are remaining issues going to trial, the City believes it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Levy said she hasn’t yet decided whether she will appeal Bacon’s decision.


UPDATE: spoke this afternoon with attorneys for the Ellis family and Kenneth Ellis’ sister about Judge Bacon’s ruling in their wrongful death lawsuit against APD.

“It is really important to restore faith in our community and our police, and this is a step toward proving that we have a system that works,” Jonelle Ellis said. “Just because you have a badge doesn’t give you the right to shoot someone and get away with it.”

We are working on a full story for tomorrow’s print edition about the judge’s ruling and what it means to the future of the case.

We also have asked for comment from APD’s attorney, but haven’t heard back yet.


State District Judge Shannon Bacon has ruled that APD officer Bret Lampiris-Tremba’s January 2010 fatal shooting of Iraq War veteran Kenneth Ellis III violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Journal has learned.

Ellis, Bacon has found, posed no threat of harm to anyone at the time he was shot in the neck outside a convenience store on Eubank Boulevard NE.

Bacon’s rulings came as a result of her granting a motion filed in a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Lampiris-Tremba, APD and the city of Albuquerque. The motion, filed by attorneys Joe and Shannon Kennedy and Frances Carpenter on behalf of Ellis’ family, was for summary judgment.

We’re trying to reach the attorneys and the city at this hour, and we will update this story as more information becomes available.

Read previous Journal coverage of the case here and here.



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