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Motion filed to give new DA retrial decision in Boyd shooting

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The special prosecutor appointed to the criminal murder case against two former Albuquerque police officers charged in the 2014 on-duty shooting of James Boyd took legal steps Wednesday to pass the decision on a retrial onto the next district attorney for the 2nd Judicial District.

RandiMcGinn

Randi McGinn

Albuquerque attorney Randi McGinn filed motions asking state District Judge Alisa Hadfield for rulings that would allow DA-elect Raul Torrez to make the decision on whether to retry retired APD detective Keith Sandy and former APD SWAT member Dominique Perez.

“The decision about whether this important case should be re-tried is best made by a District Attorney duly elected by the citizens of the City of Albuquerque – Raul Torrez, who will not take office until Jan. 1, 2017,” stated a motion filed by McGinn.

Torrez, a Democrat, ran unopposed in Tuesday’s election.

RaulTorrez

Raul Torrez

Torrez announced during his campaign for office that his plan for reviewing and handling all police shooting cases would be to hire “outside special prosecutors to review and make decisions on the 33 backlogged police shooting cases currently awaiting review at the District Attorney’s Office,” McGinn’s motion stated. “It is expected that this case could be placed at the head of that line of cases.”

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Judge Hadfield declared a mistrial Oct. 14 after a jury deadlocked 9-3 in favor of acquittal of the two men who were charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Boyd, who was armed with two pocketknives. The former officers testified they acted to protect a fellow police officer at the scene.

Spurred by defense motions, Hadfield in early 2015 disqualified District Attorney Kari Brandenburg and her office from prosecuting the murder case. Brandenburg then appointed McGinn.

The judge found Brandenburg had the appearance of a conflict in part based on the revelations that the APD had investigated her for alleged bribery and intimidation of a witness. The allegations, which she denied, involved an APD investigation of her adult son. A month after her disqualification, state Attorney General Hector Balderas cleared Brandenburg of criminal wrongdoing.

Once Brandenburg leaves office Dec. 31, the reasons for disqualifying the DA’s Office will no longer exist, McGinn’s motion stated.

Local court rules require that a status conference be held within 30 days of a mistrial, at which time prosecutors could inform the judge about whether the case will be retried or dismissed. That status conference is set for Monday.

McGinn asked the judge to allow the current murder charges to remain pending until at least Feb. 14, 2017, “so the incoming District Attorney has time to review this case and make a decision.”


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