District Attorney talks on high profile cases being dismissed

Kari Brandenburg

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – High-profile cases with people caught on camera breaking the law keep getting dismissed. KRQE News 13 asked the district attorney why and if she plans on leaving them for the next DA to deal with; she leaves office at the end of the year.

Police say it’s infuriating watching these cases get dismissed. But the DA claims sometimes it’s the police department’s own fault.

Bernalillo County DA Kari Brandenburg has expressed concerns she has with deadlines set for how soon cases have to go to trial, calling them unrealistic and the reason some cases get dismissed.

“Sometimes not going forward with a case is the most difficult choice,” said Brandenburg said.

In the last year, News 13 has reported on four high profile cases caught on camera all closed or dismissed: the dad accused of throwing fireworks at a homeless man with his kids along for the ride or the young woman who stole a police car. Then there’s Nicole Morlan, the mom accused of rooting on her daughter in a middle school fight. There is also accused cop killer Davon Lymon who was arrested for a beating outside a strip club.

Police say the excuses are getting old.

“We don’t know why we see this time and time again that charges get dropped after detectives put together really tight cases. Very frustrating as a police department,” said Albuquerque Police Department Officer Simon Drobik.

Friday morning in a news conference Brandenburg defended her office, “I’m frustrated they’re frustrated…there was a report printed this week about the DA’s office relationship with law enforcement …there’s always a little bit of friction, that’s healthy friction that’s what keeps us in the game and makes us better.”

She says prosecutors are overburdened with cases. “In terms of resources there’s 24 hours in a day and we’re operating at about 70 percent of what we need to do the job,” explained Brandenburg.

News 13 asked if lack of resources has played a role in cases being dismissed and she pointed the finger back at police saying they don’t get the evidence they need in a timely manner.

Brandenburg said, “That doesn’t have anything to do with our office, we just don’t have what we need and we can’t manufacture police reports. Only law enforcement can give us those reports.”

Brandenburg is not running for re-election so she’s gone at the end of the year.

She says her office does have plans to refile charges in some of these cases but didn’t specify which.

The DA’s office says it’s working with the feds on the Davon Lymon case involving the fatal shooting of Officer Webster.

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