ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The bribery case against former District Judge Michael Murphy of Las Cruces could end in a plea bargain next month.
Murphy pleaded not guilty in 2011 to felony charges of bribery, solicitation and intimidation of a witness, but according to court records a change of plea hearing is scheduled for April 18. The case is still on the court calendar to go to trial in mid-May.
Meanwhile, one of the key witnesses against Murphy, District Judge Lisa Schultz of Las Cruces, filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday against the state claiming she has been retaliated against for blowing the whistle on Murphy.
Schultz claims fellow judges and employees of the Third Judicial District in Las Cruces have taken various actions against her in an effort to force her from the bench.