ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a huge win for the city of Albuquerque in the lawsuit filed by the family of Mary Hawkes.
A judge has ruled the officer who killed the teen will be tried separately from the city.
The ruling by the judge in District Court this week means that the Albuquerque Police Department may never have to go on trial for the Mary Hawkes death.
Back in 2014, Officer Jeremy Dear shot and killed Mary Hawkes as APD tried to track down the 19-year-old suspected car thief.
Dear swears she turned and pointed a gun at him, but he didn’t have his body camera on.
He was fired months later for a pattern of failing to turn on that camera.
Hawkes’ family filed a lawsuit against Dear for the shooting and APD for its policies, and for hiring and keeping a troubled cop.
City of Albuquerque attorneys filed a motion to have the case against the city and Jeremy split into two separate trials. The judge agreed.
That means if a jury finds it was a good shot, that could make a second trial unnecessary because if the shooting was justified, then APD didn’t contribute to a bad shot.
The civil trial against Dear is scheduled for March. The city’s trial is slated for July of next year.
Of course, the city could settle with the Hawkes’ family as well.
Dear is trying to get his job back with APD, claiming he was unfairly fired.
The city’s personnel board ruled he should be rehired with back pay, saying APD’s camera policy wasn’t clear.
The mayor’s office is fighting the ruling in district court.