In an unusual relocation, the district attorney in Las Cruces has arranged to have 2 attorneys who work for the state superintendent of insurance take control of prosecution of the murder case against Tai Chan, the previous Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputy who shot a colleague after a night of off-duty drinking and arguing throughout a roadway trip.After his office
two times cannot encourage juries that Chan is guilty of murder, District Attorney Mark D’Antonio selected as special prosecutors Devin Chapman and Troy Davis, who operate in the scams department of the agency that controls the insurance coverage industry in New Mexico.Chan states he acted in self-defense when he shot fellow Deputy Jeremy Martin at a Las Cruces hotel in 2014, and 2 trials have ended with juries unable to reach a verdict.Chan is free on a$60,000 property bond while awaiting a third trial, which at first was scheduled for April however has actually been delayed since of scheduling conflicts.D ‘Antonio in late December released a declaration stating his office had actually sought advice from Martin’s widow, Sarah Martin, and his sibling, James
Martin,”and they are completely supportive of the choice to bring [Office of the Superintendent of Insurance coverage] prosecutors Troy Davis and Devin Chapman in on the case.””Our company believe fresh eyes and an extensive prosecutorial perspective, implemented by a team of experienced prosecutors such as Mr. Davis and Mr. Chapman, will effectively provide this case to a jury,”the district attorney said.D’Antonio did not return a message seeking comment Thursday. His spokesperson, Damien Willis, said the two special district attorneys were experienced murder prosecutors before they began working at the Workplace of the Superintendent of Insurance.Davis, a previous assistant district attorney in Albuquerque, is known for his work on the successful prosecution of Michael Astorga for the 2006 murder of Bernalillo County Constable’s Deputy James McGrane.Heather Widler, spokesperson for the Workplace of Superintendent
of Insurance, stated Thursday that this is the very first time the agency’s legal personnel has actually been asked to prosecute a criminal trial.But Widler stated the office frequently collaborates with district lawyers across the state on matters such as insurance scams due to the fact that”right now, there is a lack of prosecutors.”State legislators and the guv created the Workplace of the Superintendent of Insurance coverage as its own state company in 2013.
Previously, it had actually been under the purview of the state Public Regulation Commission.State Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, who chairs the Senate Financing Committee, said Thursday he has actually kept up with protection of the
Chan case and found it”very odd “that lawyers for the state insurance regulator would be prosecuting a murder case for a district lawyer.”My off-the-cuff remarks are that it sounds strange,”Smith stated of the plan. “I don’t think that when we set up the office of insurance coverage that was ever imagined as their area of knowledge.”The contract in between the insurance regulator and the Las Cruces district attorney’s office points out as legal authority a state law concerning the visit of special
district attorneys in”dispute cases. “”Each district lawyer may, when he can not prosecute a case for ethical factors or other great cause, select a practicing member of the bar of this state to
serve as special assistant district lawyer,”the law states.”Anybody so selected shall have authority to act only in the specific case or matter for which the visit was made.”
The 3rd Judicial District lawyer” will be accountable for all sensible finances in the event “and will pay for “all trial expenditures consisting of expert witness’costs, “states the agreement. The superintendent of insurance coverage will bill the district lawyer for hotel, daily, meal and fuel reimbursement along with for income and overtime in the case.Both the district lawyer
and Workplace of the Superintendent of Insurance are mostly funded with state taxpayer dollars.Not counting staff time for district attorneys and other law enforcement officials involved with the earlier trials, Willis stated the district lawyer’s workplace spent$16,636 in expenses such as witness charges for the very first trial of Chan and$22,094 in the second trial.But John Day, Chan’s attorney, said Thursday the district
attorney’s workplace was”low-balling”the trial expenses.Asked to comment on making use of lawyers who work for the state insurance regulator for
Chan’s 3rd murder trial, Day on Thursday stated” none of this alters that 2 juries have actually heard the case”without convicting his client.In October 2014, after the deputies had transported a prisoner to Arizona, they stopped for the night in Las Cruces, where witnesses say the two
men, over drinks at a bar, started arguing about a Santa Fe homicide case. The argument continued when the deputies returned
to the hotel space they were sharing. Inning accordance with statement, after Chan wrested a gun away from Martin, he shot his fellow deputy 5 times in the back as Martin left from their hotel space. Chan has actually kept that Martin had
been the assailant which he fired the shots out of worry for his life.The hiring of the unique prosecutors is the most current twist in a case that has actually included some controversy. Prior to the start of the second trial, a Las Cruces authorities detective assigned to the examination filed a lawsuit versus the city police department, claiming her managers had impeded the probe. And throughout that trial, one of the district attorneys in the case resigned from the district lawyer’s workplace.