'We obviously agree with the decision by the district attorney ' - Sam Bregman, Keith Sandy's lawyer
New DA Says Remaining Perez, Sandy Charges Not Provable
Own Staff, Outside DAs Agree
BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI
Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez said Friday that his office will not retry two former Albuquerque police officers who were charged with second-degree murder in connection with the March 2104 fatal shooting of homeless camper James Boyd.
The decision means that the criminal case against the two officers, Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, is over.
Torrez said the decision to not retry Sandy and Perez was made after a team of seven district attorneys from across the sate reviewed the case.
“Additionally, an independent review by two of my most experienced prosecutors ended with the same conclusion to not retry. For both teams, a key component of the analysis was grounded in the fact that the scope of the case is largely set and the remaining available charges are not likely to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” Torrez said in a prepared statement.
Sandy and Perez were tried in Albuquerque in October on the charges, and the result was a hung jury with nine jurors voting to acquit the men and three favoring a conviction.
Attorney Sam Bregman, who represents Sandy, said he was pleased.
“We obviously agree with the decision by the district attorney,” Bregman said. “Being a police officer is a noble job, and these men are noble men who did their job on that day. Mr. Sandy is grateful to all his family and friends and he looks forward to getting on with his life.”
Sandy retired after the charges were filed against him, and Perez was fired from the police department. he is trying to get his job back.
Shaun Willoughby, head of the Albuquerque police union, said, “We would like to thank District Attorney Raul Torrez and his office for undertaking a thoughtful, impartial process to review this case, and we are deeply grateful for the timely manner in which this decision was provided.”
Willoughby continued, “We have always maintained that our officers were not guilty. Sadly, both officers still face staggering legal bills and hardship as a result of this ordeal. Donations to help both officers and their families can be made to defendthisline.com.”
Boyd was camping in the Sandia foothills when he was approached by APD Open Space officers and told to leave. He refused, and after a standoff of several hours, Sandy and Perez shot him.
Video of the shooting sparked outrage across the nation as many people believed hat Boyd was turning away from the officers when he was shot.
During last year’s trial, special prosecutor Randi McGinn argued that Boyd was getting ready to come down off the mountain when he was shot.
McGinn later dismissed the charges against Perez, but did so without prejudice, meaning that Torrez had the option of reinstating them and trying Perez again.
Dennis Domrzalski is an associate editor at ABQ Free Press Weekly.