SANTA FE (KRQE) – The man accused of killing a state police officer, hijacking a plane at the Sunport and fleeing to Cuba in the 1970’s, wants the charges against him dropped because of something Governor Susana Martinez said.
Charlie Hill is still hiding out in Cuba. On Tuesday, his lawyer in Santa Fe filed a motion in federal court saying Governor Martinez’s quest to get hill back to New Mexico to face justice will guarantee that Hill will not get a fair trial.
“It hits home, we have an unresolved homicide of one of my officers,” State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said.
Chief Kassetas wants an end to the open 1971 murder of fellow Officer Robert Rosenbloom.
“I’m a realist, I understand there’s a lot of moving parts here and it’s going to take a lot” Kassetas said.
Rosenbloom was killed in 1971 on 9 Mile Hill, west of Albuquerque.
Police say Hill and two other suspected black militants killed the officer while smuggling weapons through New Mexico. They say the trio hijacked an airplane at the Sunport and fled to Fidel Castro’s Cuba for political asylum.
Years ago, KRQE News 13 investigative reporter Larry Barker tracked down Hill in Cuba, who still lives there today.
“He admitted killing Robert Rosenbloom, I asked him, do you feel remorseful about it, he says no, he got what he deserved” Barker said.
With an improvement in U.S. Cuban Relations, Governor Martinez sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry in December demanding Hill’s return. Now a Santa Fe attorney representing Hill has a problem with the letter.
“She’s politicized adjudication,” Hills attorney, Jason Flores-Williams said.
Flores-Williams has filed a motion based on the governor’s letter, which calls Hill a “cop-killer” and a member of a “terrorist group.”
“The governor stepped in without any evidence and made all of these claims and its completely inappropriate,” Flores-Williams said.
Hill’s lawyer wants the charges dropped, saying the governor has prejudiced any jury.
“I don’t think he can have a fair trial anymore,” Flores-Williams said.
KRQE News 13 asked Hill’s lawyer about what he told Barker regarding his role in Rosenbloom’s murder he said, “first of all that’s inadmissible hearsay.”
In a recent interview with Al-Jazeera, Hill denied responsibility but apologized to Rosenbloom’s family. Chief Kassetas says it’s not enough.
“The message I would carry forward is ‘great,’ come back to the United States and face a judge and jury and work through this,” Kassetas said.
In response to the motion to dismiss the case, the governor’s office said her letter was merely a request for help to get Hill in front of a judge and jury. Here’s a copy of the full statement:
Governor Martinez is focused on bringing this long-time fugitive, accused of gunning down a State Police officer, back to New Mexico to face trial and give a jury the opportunity to decide his guilt based on the facts of the case. Chief among these facts are that, following the murder of Officer Rosenbloom, Hill and his accomplices allegedly hijacked a commercial airplane at the Albuquerque Sunport and fled to Cuba where he has escaped justice for more than 43 years. The Governor requested the help of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Justice in bringing closure to the family of a New Mexico State Police officer who was gunned down in the line of duty by fugitives. Charlie Hill has been the subject of pending felony charges in both state and federal court in New Mexico since December 1971. The charges are active, remain pending, and will be pursued by both federal and state authorities if he is extradited to New Mexico.
–Mike Lonergan, spokesman for Governor Susana Martinez.
Hill’s attorney also said that Hill would consider returning to the U.S. for trial, but only if the case doesn’t become a political circus.