ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Federal prosecutors want to dismiss charges against the son of the Rio Arriba County sheriff.
The father and son were accused of roughing up a driver during an off-duty traffic stop in March.
Rodella and his father, Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella, were indicted this month for conspiracy, deprivation of rights and falsification of documents.
Court documents say the sheriff wasn’t in uniform when he chased down the motorist, jumped out of his SUV with a gun and shoved his badge in the motorist’s face and that junior restrained the man at the instruction of his dad.
On Wednesday, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss charges against Thomas Rodella, Jr.
Prosecutors say Rodella Jr. may lack the cognitive ability necessary to prove intent. In other words, they’re not sure they can prove he knew what he’s accused of doing was wrong.
Rodella Jr’s attorney, Jason Bowles, said his client is an Army veteran and during a deployment to Kosovo he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Bowles said Rodella Jr. also suffers from PTSD.
“There was no case from the beginning. There is no case now and it took them arresting a man, putting him in jail, putting him through what he’s been through and then belatedly looking at critical records that the grand jury never saw to dismiss the case,” Bowles.
Bowles said Rodella Jr. should have never been indicted in the first place because the feds should have requested his medical records before charging him.
Bowles said Rodella Jr. is the only witness to the entire ordeal. He said now that the charges are dropped Rodella Jr. can testify on behalf of his dad. No word, yet, if that will happen.