LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Self-defense or murder? That’s the question at the center of the death of a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Deputy at the hands of another.
Tai Chan’s attorneys argue this is not a murder case.
“We raised the issue of there are not sufficient facts for first degree, we believe there are sufficient facts to support self-defense in this case,” said Chan’s Attorney, John Day.
They claim that in October 2014 when Chan and fellow Santa Fe County Deputy Jeremy Martin were in Las Cruces on a prisoner transport, Chan shot Martin in self-defense.
It happened after a night of drinking and after an argument.
But prosecutors said self-defense is not what happened. They filed a motion of their own Tuesday morning, saying they have clear evidence this is murder.
In a court filing, prosecutors said Chan shot Martin twice inside their hotel room and quote, “not satisfied with the results, he followed Martin out of the room and fired more shots.” Prosecutors said Martin was shot in the back and was not armed.
The judge is expected to make a decision on the motion later this week.
The one thing they did discuss in court Tuesday, the state adding a witness, Jeremy Martin’s widow.
“The question becomes what’s she being offered to as relevance um and is it inflammatory,” said Chan’s Attorney, Tom Clark. “And quite frankly, if she gets up on the stand and starts expounding about Jeremy Martin’s virtues, we’re waiting in the wings with stuff about Mr. Martin that are not so virtuous.”
Prosecutors fired back saying she was a valuable witness who could provide important aspects about Martin.
The judge is expected to make a decision on that also later in the week.
The trial begins Monday and is expected to last three weeks.
The state alone is expected to call 93 witnesses.