RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The woman charged with the murder of a Rio Rancho Police officer went in front of a judge Tuesday morning for another crime that could put her behind bars for five years.
These circumstances have people asking: Why was Tabitha Littles laughing in the courtroom?
In court Tuesday, Littles sat with two other female inmates, whispering and smiling at cameras. One of them was even waving while the three continued laughing.
It was unexpected behavior from someone being charged with the murder of a police officer.
Littles was in court for a probation violation hearing in cases unrelated to the shooting. That’s because Littles was on probation for theft and drug charges and wasn’t supposed to be in Rio Rancho the night Officer Gregg Benner was ambushed and killed during a traffic stop back in May.
Prosecutors say Littles didn’t do anything to keep her boyfriend Andrew Romero, who was wanted for armed robbery at the time, from gunning down Benner. They also say she didn’t do anything to warn the officer about the ambush.
The judged delayed Littles’ sentencing for another three weeks. She’s supposed to go on trial for the Benner murder in June.
This week Officer Benner will be remembered since he would have been 50-years-old on Thursday. Officer Benner’s widow, Julie, will release 50 balloons in his honor and encourages the community to come out and help her. That will take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. on Pinetree Road. Several balloon releases will also take place in the officer’s honor in his native England and Australia.