Raul Torrez wants input from around N.M.
Outside DAs Will Help Decide Whether to Retry Cops
Incoming Bernalillo County District Raul Torrez says a team of seven prosecutors from around the state will review the James Boyd shooting case and determine whether his office should retry two former Albuquerque police offices who were charged with second-degree murder.
“It is extremely important to our community that this case receive a prompt, thorough and independent review by experienced prosecutors before we determine how to move forward. To that end, I am extremely grateful to Rick Tedrow, President of the New Mexico District Attorneys Association and to my colleagues from around the state who have volunteered some of their best prosecutors to examine every aspect of this case,” Torrez said during a news conference in Albuquerque.
“While I recognize that the prosecution of this case has divided our community, I am confident that a comprehensive, independent review of the available evidence and the applicable law will go a long way towards restoring public trust in the criminal justice system.
“As district attorney, I will immediately assign this case for review to a team of experienced independent prosecutors who will undertake a detailed review of the evidence and make a recommendation. Any decisions on the path forward must be guided by the law and the facts, and that is how my office will approach each case we handle.”
The former officers, Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, were tried in October on second-degree murder charges. The jury in the 15-day trial deadlocked with nine voting to acquit the two men and three voting to convict.
In late November, special prosecutor Randi McGinn dismissed charges against Perez. But because the case was dismissed “without prejudice,” the charges could be refiled.
Boyd, a mentally ill homeless man, was camping illegally in the Sandia foothills when he was fatally shot in March 2014 by Sandy and Perez, who were then on the police force. The shooting occurred after an hours-long standoff during which Boyd repeatedly refused orders to drop two pocket knives that he had threatened police with.
Torrez said the review process will begin immediately and that it should be completed early next year. The panel’s findings will be made public, he said.