Editorial: Fatal Valencia DWI case has languished too long - Albuquerque Journal

Editorial: Fatal Valencia DWI case has languished too long

Ten months is a long time for a grieving mother to wait for action against the alleged impaired driver who struck and killed her 16-year-old son, Tanner. The youth was riding his motorcycle home on Nov. 22, the morning his grandmother had died.

Compounding the loss of her son and her mother on the same day, Victoria Woolley is understandably upset with a legal system that has yet to indict the driver, Dejohni Orndorff of Belen, or, alternatively, declare there was no criminal conduct.

Initially, Orndorf was charged with homicide by vehicle, aggravated DWI and failure to yield in connection with the crash. She was booked into the Valencia County Detention Center on a $100,000 cash-only bond on those charges, and on a no-bond hold for previous charges – two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, according to a news story by Clara Garcia, editor of the Valencia County News-Bulletin, and also published in the Journal on Monday.

In December, however, the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges in Magistrate Court, saying it would seek a grand jury indictment. Months later, there’s been no indictment. But there have been excuses and finger-pointing.

District Attorney Lemuel Martinez says his office is waiting on an investigative report, based on new information, from the New Mexico State Police. He said he hopes to present the case to a grand jury in the next month, depending on when the State Police finishes.

However, the State Police says the completed report is in the hands of the DA’s Office.

Victoria Woolley says she has received almost no information from Martinez’s office, but Martinez says his office has been in contact with the family.

Somewhere lies the truth, but this much is for sure: this case has languished long enough. DA Martinez needs to get this sorted out – without excuses or further delay – and present this case to a grand jury so all parties can have some faith in the judicial system, which right now is in short supply for a grieving mother.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

Home » Opinion » Editorials » Editorial: Fatal Valencia DWI case has languished too long


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Editorial: Journal backs Garcia Holmes and Vasquez in CD1 ...
Editorials
Today, the Journal announces its endorsements ... Today, the Journal announces its endorsements for contested primary races for the U.S. House of Repr ...
2
Editorial: Journal announces endorsements for BernCO commission and county ...
Editorials
Today, the Journal announces its primary ... Today, the Journal announces its primary endorsements for Bernalillo County commission and county assessor.
3
Editorial: Journal announces endorsements for sheriff and judges
Editorials
Today, the Journal announces its primary ... Today, the Journal announces its primary endorsements for Bernalillo County sheriff and contested ra ...
4
Editorial: Pretrial release decisions must hinge on good police ...
Editorials
During election season in New Mexico, ... During election season in New Mexico, promises to crack down on crime are ubiquitous — on both ...
5
Editorial: Journal concludes primary endorsements for NM House
Editorials
Today, the Journal continues endorsements for ... Today, the Journal continues endorsements for contested primary legislative races in the metro area. ...
6
Editorial: Journal begins ’22 endorsements with NM House of ...
Editorials
For ongoing coverage that will include ... For ongoing coverage that will include candidate profiles, Q&As and endorsements as they are published, go to www.abqjournal.com/2498103/2022-primary-election.html.
7
Editorial: Recent cases prove NM must do better job ...
Editorials
New Mexico can be a very ... New Mexico can be a very dangerous place to be a child.    We had the sixth-highest r ...
8
Editorial: 'Living lots' may be worth considering, but details ...
Editorials
We started with unsanctioned, unsanitary and ... We started with unsanctioned, unsanitary and unsafe camping across the metro area.     ...
9
Editorial: Free parking could pay off in Old Town
Editorials
Why does the city charge for ... Why does the city charge for parking in Old Town?    "Because it can" isn ...