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DA Blames DWI Crash on Rule

DA Blames DWI Crash on Rule

'The new deadlines strain an already overburdened system by trying to force it to move at lightning speed' -- DA Kari Branddenburg

Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenberg linked the deaths of three people allegedly at the hands of 23-year-old Jacob Jaramillo to the New Mexico Supreme Court’s order requiring officials to quickly gather evidence or dismiss criminal cases.

“The new deadlines strain an already overburdened system by trying to force it to move at lightning speed without additional resources,” Brandenburg said in a prepared statement.

The dismissal of a 2014 felony charge against Jaramillo after the rule took effect last February meant he was freed from pre-trial conditions in that case that included a prohibition against drinking.

“Had the case not been dismissed for lack of complete discovery, Jaramillo would have had to comply with conditions of release, which would have prohibited him from consuming alcohol.,” Brandenburg said. “While we cannot say whether or not he would have abided by his conditions of release, they certainly could have served as a deterrent.

Jaramillo is being held in the deaths of Robert Mendez, Sergio Mendez, and Grace Sinfield on Nov. 29.

The Supreme Court is considering changes in the rule, which police and prosecutors are blaming for the  release of people who, once freed, have gone on to violent crimes.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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