ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ellen Snyder, accused of killing her husband in 2002 and burying his body, has been jailed nearly a year.
Ellen Snyder, 51, accused of killing her husband in 2002 and burying his body on the couple’s northeast Albuquerque property, is in state District Court this morning seeking a change in her conditions of release, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release.
Snyder has been in custody since her arrest in February 2010 and is seeking a reduction in bond to allow her to remain out of jail pending her trial, the release said.
No trial date has been set.
State District Judge Kenneth Martinez, who is hearing the motion this morning, last August denied a defense motion seeking to dismiss first-degree murder charges against Snyder, who has admitted killing her husband, 43-year-old Michael Snyder, on Jan. 11, 2002, but only after years of frequent emotional and physical abuse, according to an Albuquerque Journal article at the time.
“We expect her attorneys to argue that she has been in custody for a year and deserves the opportunity to be out,” Patrick Davis, spokesman for the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, told KRQE News 13.
“There is an ongoing pattern showing that there was enough evidence to say that she is someone serious, someone who understands the gravity of her crime,” Davis told News 13. “We are hoping we can get a trial date as early as tomorrow, and that gives some finality and expectations for her as well.”
Snyder is being held on a $500,000 bond, facing charges of murder, tax fraud, forgery, identity theft and tampering with evidence, the Journal has reported.
5:30pm 8/12/10 — Judge Denies Defense Motion in Snyder First-Degree
Murder Case: Attorney wanted charges dismissed against woman accused of
killing her husband in 2002.
State District Judge Kenneth Martinez has denied a defense motion seeking to dismiss first-degree murder charges against Ellen Snyder for killing her husband, 43-year-old master mechanic Michael Snyder, in 2002.
Snyder’s lawyer Penni Adrian argued in court Thursday in Albuquerque that prosecutors had made errors in presenting the case to the grand jury so significant that dismissal of the charges was in order.
Snyder, 51, turned herself in to police in February after Adrian contacted them about her client and longtime acquaintance. Snyder then spoke to detectives for over two hours about the fatal shooting of her husband on Jan. 11, 2002, and burying his body on the couple’s property at the time on Anaheim NE.
Adrian has said Snyder acted after years of frequent emotional and physical abuse.
In the motions she filed with the court last month, Adrian argued that the prosecutor who presented the case to the grand jury informed the panel that only first-degree murder charges could be considered. Jurors were not instructed on lesser possible offenses including second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter.
By telling the grand jury that, the prosecution was essentially saying it was first-degree “or she just got off,” Adrian told Martinez.
“They might never have found first-degree if they had been presented with other charges,” she said.
But Assistant District Attorney Mark Benford said the statute of limitations had expired on other potential charges.
“If it’s outside the statute, you can’t (move) forward with the charge,” he said.
Had Adrian waived the statute of limitations — which she had not — prosecutors could have presented lesser charges, he said.
Adrian also sought to have the charges dismissed because she said the prosecution must show during its grand jury presentation that the killing was not in self-defense.
Benford said a self-defense instruction had not been requested by the defense. In court documents, the state says the proper procedure would have been to request a self-defense instruction and to provide the factual support for it.
Martinez took the matter under consideration, but before 5 p.m. had issued an order finding that the state complied with its obligations and duties in the grand jury presentation.
Snyder remains in custody on $500,000 bond on charges of murder, tax fraud, forgery, identity theft and tampering with evidence. No trial date has been set.