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2010 APD shooting inches toward trial

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The chess board is now set for the civil trial against the Albuquerque Police Department and one its detectives, Brett Lampiris-Tremba, who fatally shot Iraq War veteran Kenneth Ellis III outside a city convenience store in January 2010.

Jury selection is expected to begin as early as tomorrow afternoon, and opening arguments will follow either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning. The trial is expected to last into the middle or later part of next week.

In court this morning, state District Judge Shannon Bacon ruled on the last of the pretrial motions filed by attorneys Joe and Shannon Kennedy and Frances Carpenter, who are representing Ellis’ family in the case.

Bacon’s rulings today were consistent with her past decisions about what will and won’t be allowed during the trial. Lampiris-Tremba’s past at APD — and how he has been treated by department brass — will be allowed into evidence. But training the detective received after the shooting won’t be. Neither will the decisions of an “investigative grand jury,” which determined that the shooting of Ellis was justified under New Mexico law, or the Police Oversight Commission’s finding that Lampiris-Tremba hadn’t violated any APD policies or procedures in the shooting.

Last month, Bacon ruled that the shooting was an unlawful violation of Ellis’ Fourth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. That means the jury will decide how much money the city owes Ellis’ family, rather than whether the shooting was lawful. There also are several other claims the jury will decide, including whether the city is liable for negligently hiring, retaining and supervising Lampiris-Tremba.

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