- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Lawyers for a former New Mexico deputy accused of killing his partner in 2014 are asking the court to dismiss their client’s case.

The attorneys filed motions Wednesday claiming Tai Chan, 29, is a victim of “outrageous government conduct” in “a botched investigation” by Las Cruces Police Department. Chan faces a murder charge in the shooting death of Deputy Jeremy Martin after an alcohol-fueled argument on Oct. 28, 2014 in Las Cruces. Chan has previously said that he shot his partner in self-defense.

Defense attorneys John Day, Tom Clark and Monnica Garcia are also asking Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio be dismissed from the case. They argue that D’Antonio has a conflict of interest in the case because of a related lawsuit filed by Detective Irma Palos against the city of Las Cruces. Palos’ lawsuit said that she was denied the resources to investigate Chan’s case in retaliation to her sexual assault report against a former LCPD detective.

“Now we have this situation where the lead detective is saying this investigation is corrupt and that the police obstructed justice, and you also have the person who is prosecuting the case saying this may be the case,” Day said. “The reality is there is no way this case can be resolved in a fair trial because the investigation, as Palos says and as the DA says, has been rotten from the start.”

Chan’s lawyers also claimed the police intentionally withheld photographic evidence that could speak to Martin’s character that they could have used early in the case.

“We will always hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards in our exchanges with the court as well as with opposing counsel,” District Attorney’s Office spokesman Damien Willis said. “To do less would be a disservice to the family of Jeremy Martin, to the court and to the people of Dona Ana County.”

Chan’s second trial is scheduled for May 8.

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