LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – After a mistrial last year, the second murder trial is underway for a former deputy accused of murdering another deputy.
A full day of jury selection wrapped up Monday.
A pool of about 85 people was narrowed down to the 12 jurors and a few alternates who will now decide whether former deputy Tai Chan murdered Santa Fe County Deputy Jeremy Martin in 2014.
Chan shot and killed Martin at Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces while the two were traveling to transport a prisoner. Chan claims it was in self-defense after a drunken argument.
Martin’s family was emotional last year when the first trial ended with a hung jury. That jury told the judge it wasn’t discussing a not guilty verdict, but it couldn’t agree on what charge Chan was guilty of.
The jury said one believed he was guilty of first-degree murder, six thought it was second-degree murder and five voted voluntary manslaughter. However, because it wasn’t unanimous he walked free.
Now, a new jury will face that same question.
This jury will be doing something a little different this time. After a request from prosecutors, the judge has agreed to let them visit the crime scene in person.
That visit is expected to happen after opening statements.
First thing Tuesday morning, both sides will give their opening statements to the jury.