Top stories of 2015: Number 5; APD officers charged with murder

In March of 2014, Albuquerque Police were dispatched to the foothills area of Albuquerque in response to a homeless man who was camping illegally. What transpired in a matter of hours would leave the camper dead and the prompt still-ongoing issues on a local level with national attention. Almost a year after the shooting, then-Officer Dominique Perez and retired Detective Keith Sandy were charged with the murder of camper James Boyd. We are counting down the top ten stories through the end of the year with expanded recaps or personal recollections from the three members of the team. Tune in each morning to see what the next story is.

APD officer, former detective will face trial over killing of homeless man

Judge Neil Candelaria ruled Tuesday that there is probable cause to go forward in the trial of two Albuquerque Police Department officers, one who has since retired, who shot and killed a homeless man. Officer Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy will face trial on charges of second-degree murder and lesser charges. The two will be the first Albuquerque Police Department officers to be charged for an on-the-job shooting. Note: This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day. The naming of a trial date and arraignment will take place at a later date.

Officers who shot homeless man facing 2nd degree murder charges

A special prosecutor charged two Albuquerque Police Department officers who shot and killed a homeless man with second degree murder. The special prosecutor, Randi McGinn, filed the charges on Monday. Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez will also face voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges in the death of James Boyd. The charges allege that Sandy and Perez “did kill James Boyd without lawful justification or excuse and without acting upon sufficient provocation while knowing that his acts created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to James Boyd.” The shooting happened last year after Boyd was illegally camping in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.

Atty General: No bribery, intimidation charges against Brandenburg

Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Thursday morning that District Attorney Kari Brandenburg will not face bribery and intimidation charges referred to his office by the Albuquerque Police Department. A letter to APD chief Gorden Eden outlined the reasoning and also dinged both the police department and Brandenburg for how the situation was handled. In a release, the AG said there is “insufficient evidence” that any crime took place. “This conclusion was based on APD case materials, and additional evidence gathered by my office during its expanded, independent investigation,” Balderas said in his statement. “While we did not find sufficient evidence of criminal conduct, there were identifiable leadership failures to which both agencies can take immediate corrective action and begin to re-focus on serving the people of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.”

McGinn named special prosecutor in Boyd shooting case

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced that an Albuquerque attorney will be the special prosecutor in the case related to the shooting of a homeless man by Albuquerque police. Randi McGinn will be the special prosecutor in the James Boyd shooting case, Brandenburg announced on Thursday morning. A district court judge ruled last week that Brandenburg could not prosecute the case because of an “appearance of conflict of interest.” In January, Brandenburg announced murder charges against James Boyd and Dominique Perez, two officers charged for the murder of James Boyd. The two shot Boyd, a homeless man who was illegally camping in the Albuquerque foothills.