ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — It’s been nearly four years since investigators said Damon Morgan drugged a woman at Marcello’s Chop House in ABQ Uptown, where he was a waiter. On Friday, Sandoval County Judge George Eichwald dismissed the case altogether, saying prosecutors have taken too long to take this case to trial.
At a press conference with his attorneys, Morgan said he was ready to move on with his life.
“These are entirely false charges,” Morgan said. “I have never done any of the things I was accused of.”
Eichwald said all but three months of the delays were because of administrative issues and “laxity in prosecution.’
“The time for bringing this case to trial is excessive even for a complex case,” Eichwald wrote in his order. “This is not a complex case.”
Santa Fe County District Attorney Spence Pacheco says there was another factor in play. The case went through 10 Bernalillo County judges who recused themselves from the case, because the victim happened to be an assistant district attorney for Bernalillo County.
The Supreme Court then assigned Eichwald to the case in Sandoval County.
“Finally, we ran out of judges and it had to be certified to the supreme court to appoint a judge, and that took a little time,” Pacheco said.
Eichwald said it was more than a little time. He dismissed the charges on “speedy trial” grounds, adding that Morgan’s career and reputation have been damaged by the drawn out case.
The Bernalillo County D.A.’s office passed off the case because it involved their own prosecutors.
KRQE News 13 tried to reach the alleged victim for comment.