Hotel guests in Tai Chan trial testify to hearing gunshots

Hotel Encanto

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A man said he woke up to arguing and gunshots on the night then-Deputy Tai Chan is accused of murdering fellow Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Martin at a Las Cruces hotel on Oct. 27, 2014.

That is what the jury heard on Wednesday as testimony continued in Chan’s re-trial.

Several hotel guests took the stand.

Edward Haselwood testified that he was staying in the room right next to Chan and Martin at Hotel Encanto.

The man, visiting Las Cruces from Kansas, said he woke up disoriented and did not immediately realize where he was.

He said he heard a heated argument between two men.

Then, he said he heard a sound of disbelief as if someone had pulled out a weapon.

“That was quickly followed by single shot. At that point, I heard some scuffling and then I heard a volley of three or four shots that followed that and then, I’m starting to realize I’m not in Kansas City. This is pretty close to me,” Haselwood said.

He said he heard someone moaning in great pain and then a second, calm voice that said, “Call 911.”

The defense said in opening statements that the remark came from Chan and that Martin had attacked Chan, prompting Chan to fire in self-defense.

Prosecutors said Chan murdered Martin, shooting him in the back as he ran away after a drunken argument.

Another hotel guest testified that she heard a loud bang against the wall, a man shouting at someone to get out and then gunshots.

“Three rapid-fire gunshots, then a pause and four or five more deliberate gunshots,” said Mary Anne Hale.

The state also called a firearms and toolmark expert to the stand.

Steve Guerra had examined evidence collected from the scene, including the gun and casings.

He gave the jury a close-up look at the weapon and testified that Chan and Martin were at least two feet away when the gun was fired.

This is the second jury to hear this case after it ended with a mistrial last year.

KRQE.com 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.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s