- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Prosecutors want a judge to limit what lawyers for two Albuquerque police officers charged with murder in a fatal shooting can tell the news media.

A motion filed Tuesday by the Bernalillo County district attorney’s office says unrestricted comments by defense attorneys could prejudice proceedings in the case against former Detective Keith Sandy and Officer Dominque Perez.

The motion cites defense lawyers’ reported comments on a ballistic report in the case.

Defense attorney Sam Bregman told the Albuquerque Journal (http://goo.gl/837Z4s ) that the prosecution’s request is hypocritical because District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced the charges against the officers during a televised news conference. “They are the ones that made this into a public fiasco, and now they are telling us that we are not allowed to respond,” Bregman said.

Luis Robles, an attorney for Perez, said Wednesday it was Brandenburg who called for a full airing of the facts in the case. “You really can’t have it both ways if you want the public to be able to review all of the facts,” he told The Associated Press.

Kayla Anderson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney, said the office had no additional comment on its motion.

Bregman represents Sandy, who along with Perez, is charged in the March 2014 killing of James Boyd during an hours-long standoff. The homeless man was illegally camping and had threatened officers with two knives, authorities have said.

Both Sandy and Perez have denied wrongdoing.

Bregman said his client wants a fair trial, and any comments defense attorneys have made would not prejudice the jury.

The case began in January when Brandenburg announced her office would seek charges against Perez and Sandy.

The men face a preliminary hearing. If the judge decides there’s sufficient evidence to bind the men over for trial, the charges could range from first-degree murder to manslaughter.

No date has been set for that hearing, and state District Judge Alisa Hadfield has yet to rule on a motion from the defense to disqualify Brandenburg’s office from the case.

The defense contends the office has a conflict of interest, in part because Brandenburg had been investigated by Albuquerque police for bribery and witness intimidation stemming from a police investigation of Brandenburg’s adult son.

Prosecutors argue Brandenburg’s office should try the case because she’s the elected district attorney and that the office is prosecuting the case because of the evidence, which includes a video of the shooting taken from Perez’s on-body camera.

Perez and Sandy are the first officers Brandenburg has charged with murder after reviewing more than 20 on-duty shootings and presenting dozens of other police shootings to grand juries.

___

Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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