Involuntary manslaughter charges dismissed in James Boyd murder case

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The preliminary hearing for the two Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed James Boyd has led to one less charge for the officers.

The officers’ attorneys pointed out that the K9 officer was within eight feet of Boyd during the shooting and that Boyd posed a threat.

Despite what the state said, the attorney said Boyd never surrendered.

“How is that surrendering? That’s not surrendering,” said Bregman, “Surrendering is get on the ground. You get on the ground and drop the knife.”

The defense attorneys for Perez and Sandy went on to ask the judge to drop all of the charges, but the judge decided to only dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge.

“I have some doubts about that particular offense being charged since the evidence what I’ve heard is more of intentional and I haven’t heard much of anything unintentional,” said District Judge Neil Candelaria.

Involuntary manslaughter is the lesser of the killing charges and the officers still maintain the second degree murder charge.

Earlier in the day. a forensic expert prosecutors brought in took the stand.

The expert slowed down the now infamous police video from Perez’s helmet cam. He said the video shows Boyd turning away when officer Sandy fired the first shot.

The defense then pointed out that the APD dog handler was within eight feet from Boyd and his two small knives when Sandy and Perez shot him.

The lead investigator was on the witness stand most of Tuesday at the hearing.

It will help a judge decide if now-retired APD detective Keith Sandy and Officer Dominique Perez will go to trial on murder charges.

The prosecution argues the investigation was handled differently and pointed out Perez and Sandy were never separated and were not interviewed until two days later.

The lead investigator testified that Sandy told detectives the less lethal tactics weren’t working and says Boyd took an aggressive stance. The investigator also told the court he’s not sure why Sandy doesn’t have video of the encounter with Boyd. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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