SANTA FE – A lawyer for Charlie Hill, the fugitive wanted in a New Mexico cop-killing who’s been living in Cuba since hijacking a plane from the Albuquerque airport with two accomplices in 1971, has filed a motion seeking dismissal of Hill’s decades-old charges.
Santa Fe attorney Jason Flores-Williams, who announced recently that he is representing Hill, maintains in his federal court motion that Gov. Susana Martinez has “politicized” the case to the point that “no venue that can be free of prejudicial stain” could be found for a fair trial for Hill.
Flores-Williams cites a letter the governor sent to federal officials in December, after President Barack Obama announced plans to take steps toward normalizing relations with Cuba, asking them to push for extradition of Hill.
“With your help, we may finally be able to bring a cop-killer to justice,” she wrote. Flores-Williams also cites portions of the letter, which was made public, that refer to the black separatist group Republic of New Afrika, which Hill was a member of in 1971, as “a terrorist group” and the governor’s description of Hill as State Police patrolman Robert Rosenbloom’s “surviving killer.”
The Governor’s Office previously has provided a statement responding to Flores-Williams, saying the governor’s goals is for Hill to face jury. She “is focused on bringing this long-time fugitive, accused of gunning down a State Police officer, back to New Mexico to face trial and give a jury the opportunity to decide his guilt based on the facts of the case,” the statement said.
“Chief among these facts are that, following the murder of Officer Rosenbloom, Hill and his accomplices allegedly hijacked a commercial airplane at the Albuquerque Sunport and fled to Cuba where he has escaped justice for more than 43 years.”
Rosenbloom was shot during a Nov. 8, 1971, traffic stop on Interstate 40 west of Albuquerque.
After the confrontation that left Rosenbloom fatally wounded, three suspects – Hill, Michael Finney and Ralph Goodwin – hid out for three weeks, then they carjacked a wrecker truck in Albuquerque at gunpoint and forced the driver to take them to the airport. On Nov. 27, they hijacked a Trans World Airlines flight and gained political asylum in Cuba. The two other fugitives have since died.
Flores-Williams’ motion accuses the governor of “playing cultural politics with the law” and of using “every damning buzz word available to appeal to the forces of law and order, which also happens to be her base.”