Judge allows Green Jeans burglary suspect’s release from jail

Nicholas Smith
Nicholas Smith

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A man suspected of multiple break-ins at Green Jeans Farmery is being let out of jail.

Police say Nicholas Smith is the man seen on surveillance video from Chill-N Ice Cream. It’s one of several shops hit this month at the retail space near Carlisle and I-40.

Police arrested Smith Tuesday night for breaking into six Green Jeans businesses in the last month. They say he targeted some locations more than once, stealing cash.

As a result, Smith faces five counts of burglary and five counts of larceny.

In metro court on Wednesday, pro-tem Judge Kevin Fitzwater agreed with concerns that letting Smith out of jail may mean he’ll pick up new burglary charges, but he still said he had to release him.

“State, I understand your argument, and I agree that the risk of recidivism is there. However, I’m not in the position based on the new rules to impose bond for that. So, sir, I have to release you on your own recognizance,” he said.

He said it’s based on the consistutional amendment voters passed in November.

It allows the State to request a judge hold dangerous defendants in felony cases behind bars with no bond.

The prosecutor didn’t make that request in Smith’s case.

The other part of the amendment says non-dangerous defendants who do not pose a flight risk have the right to be released while they wait for trial since they’re presumed innocent.

“Bond is inappropriate and should not be imposed,” Judge Fitzwater said.

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