Defense’s first witness testifies in former deputy’s trial

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A psychologist who specializes in officer-involved shootings testified on Tuesday in the retrial of former Santa Fe County Deputy Tai Chan.

He is charged with murdering fellow Deputy Jeremy Martin.

The prosecution still has more witnesses to testify, but they allowed the defense’s first witness to take the stand.

That’s because the police and forensic psychologist from California was only available to testify on Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Chan shot Martin five times in the back as Martin ran out of their Las Cruces hotel room.

The two stopped for the night before heading back to Santa Fe after transporting a prisoner.

Witnesses say they got into a drunken argument.

Chan claims he fired in self-defense after an attack from Martin.

The defense’s witness told the jury he believes that Chan did perceive a deadly threat based on what he said happened in a fight at the hotel.

“Deputy Martin had the gun in his hand. Deputy Chan then said that he was hit… that Deputy Martin punched, essentially, with one fist and there was gun in the other hand,” said Dr. Philip Trompetter.

The State pointed out that opinion was all based on Chan’s account, and they tried to raise doubts about the expert’s credibility.

Earlier on Tuesday, prosecutors called the medical examiner who performed Martin’s autopsy to the stand.

She testified that all the gunshot wounds showed Martin was shot from behind.

The jury is still waiting to hear the audio from Chan’s arrest.

It started for about five minutes on Monday but was stopped after a dispute over the edited version that was playing. 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.

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