LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A special prosecutor dismissed a criminal case against a former New Mexico sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a colleague at a Las Cruces hotel.
Special prosecutor Troy J. Davis filed the notice Thursday. In the filing, Davis said Tai Chan “possibly needs to be re-indicted for Voluntary Manslaughter with a firearm enhancement.”
Chan has been tried twice for murder in the death of Deputy Jeremy Martin on Oct. 24, 2014. Both prosecutions ended in mistrials after juries couldn’t reach unanimous verdicts.
The two deputies were staying in Las Cruces on their way back from delivering a prisoner.
Chan maintains he shot Martin in self-defense after a night of drinking and arguing with Martin.
Martin died after he was shot five times in the back and arm. Ten shots were fired from Chan’s duty weapon. But who shot the gun first and who was the aggressor in the struggle were disputed at trial.
Davis said the dismissal ends his appointment to the case. Davis, an attorney in the fraud division of the state Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, was appointed to take over the case by Las Cruces District Attorney Mark D’Antonio after the two mistrials.
Any new indictment of Chan would have to be pursued by D’Antonio. The district attorney and another top prosecutor in his office couldn’t be reached for comment.
In a brief interview Thursday, Davis said his decision to drop the prosecution was a response to the legal defects in the case raised by the defense dismissal motion.
“My sympathies go out to Mrs. (Sarah) Martin,” Davis said, referring to the slain deputy’s wife.
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