Trial set in killing of UNM baseball player - Albuquerque Journal

Trial set in killing of UNM baseball player

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Jury selection is set to begin Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a University of New Mexico baseball player outside a Nob Hill nightclub two years ago.

Darian Bashir

Darian Bashir, 25, faces one count of first-degree murder in the May 4, 2019, shooting death of Jackson Weller, 23.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and 2nd Judicial District Attorney Raúl Torrez argued at the time that Bashir should have been in jail pending trial on prior charges.

Police found Weller lying in the street at Central and Richmond NE with a gunshot wound to his chest. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police say security video showed a man walk up to Weller, pull a gun from his waist and shoot him. The gunman then got into a vehicle that sped away through an alley.

Police say three witnesses identified Bashir as the gunman. One told police he heard a gunshot and saw Bashir walking away holding a gun, according to a Metro Court criminal complaint. Two others said they saw Bashir shoot Weller and walk away as Weller collapsed.

Police arrested Bashir at a Northeast Albuquerque apartment complex about a week after the killing.

Court records show he had had several previous encounters with law enforcement in connection with gun-related crimes.

In November 2017, Bashir allegedly shot a young man in the stomach in Downtown Albuquerque. The man was seriously injured, but survived. A spokesman for the DA’s office later said “mistakes were made” and deadlines missed in that case, leading to its dismissal in January 2019, just six weeks before it was set for trial.

Three weeks after the dismissal, Bashir was accused of firing an assault rifle from a car at another vehicle. The DA’s Office asked that Bashir be held in jail pending trial, but a judge denied the request, releasing Bashir on his own recognizance just weeks before Weller’s killing.

In an 11-page order explaining his decision, Judge Richard Brown said charges in the 2017 shooting were dismissed and Bashir did not have any charges pending against him at the time of his arrest.

Bashir’s criminal history includes three misdemeanor arrests and two felony arrests, but no convictions, the order said.

Bashir pleaded guilty in December 2019 to shooting at or from a motor vehicle and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The plea agreement calls for him to receive up to three years in prison. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

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