A judge on Wednesday dismissed all charges in the long-running Las Cruces case in which a former Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office deputy shot and killed his partner at a Las Cruces hotel after a night of drinking.
This ends the controversial case that started with the October 2014 shooting death of deputy Jeremy Martin. There were six attempts to prosecute Tai Chan, with two jury trials ending in mistrials. Chan always maintained he shot Martin in self-defense.
Chan and Martin were overnighting in Las Cruces while returning from delivering a prisoner to Arizona. They had been drinking at several Las Cruces bars before the shooting occurred, court documents say.
The case sent shock waves through the tight-knit Sheriff’s Office, which held a news conference the day of the shooting during which a visibly emotional then-Sheriff Robert Garcia outlined details as his command staff listened.
“The 3rd Judicial District Attorney will not be filing any more charges against Chan,” said Roxanne Garcia-McElmell, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Mark D’Antonio’s office.
Garcia-McElmell said the DA’s Office will not contest the ruling with the Court of Appeals.
Chan’s Santa Fe attorney John Day and Garcia-McElmell confirmed that District Judge Conrad Perea of Las Cruces had dismissed the charge and fined the DA after finding prosecutorial misconduct.