- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a man convicted of killing a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy.

The state’s high court issued Monday its opinion and said it found no evidence that a jury was prejudice against Michael Astorga.

In May 2012, Astorga was sentenced to life in prison and avoided a death sentence for the shooting death of Deputy James McGrane. Authorities say Astorga killed McGrane during a 2006 traffic stop.

The state Supreme Court previously ruled that Astorga was eligible for the death penalty since the crime occurred before lawmakers passed the repeal.

Astorga appealed his trial on the grounds of “purported errors” during the guilt phase. He also argued that he should have been granted a change of venue during his trial.

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