Judge won’t dismiss charges for woman in Taos van shooting

TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – The mother, whose van was shot at by state police after a traffic stop gone wrong, asked to have the charges against her dropped Thursday, but a judge didn’t go for it.

Oriana Farrell was stopped for speeding near Taos in October, but drove off. An officer stopped her again. That’s when he pulled her out of a car, pulled a Taser on her son and bashed out a window.

Another officer fired at the fleeing minivan.

Thursday two of her kids were in court and consoled her after a judge denied her motion.

Farrell’s attorneys argued the state failed to let her know a grand jury would be meeting. They said if Farrell had known, she would have testified and that could have changed the outcome of the grand jury.

“Would a jury then find probable cause for child abuse? I think that’s debatable, I think that changes the game,” Kathryn Hardy, Farrell’s attorney said.

Farrell’s attorneys also argued the grand jury was not read the proper instructions, and there was a problem with the grand jury selection.

That juror-was Officer Elias Montoya’s sister.

Montoya is the then state police officer-who fired shots at Farrell’s van. She was replaced.

The state argued that notice was sent to the adult detention center, where Farrell was being held, that reading general intent instructions wasn’t necessary in this case and that the alternate juror issue was not overreaching.

“The defendant in this court’s mind has failed to show how the results would have substantially changed had the instruction been given and had the defendant been given the opportunity to testify,” Judge John Paternoster said.

The judge did say he will consider certifying the case for an appeal. Farrell’s attorneys said they would be submitting a request.

The charge against Farrell’s now 15-year-old son, who got into a scuffle with the officer, was dismissed last month.


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