- Associated Press - Sunday, May 7, 2017

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - An ex-deputy accused of killing his partner in 2014 following what authorities have said was an alcohol-fueled argument will be tried again after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict the first time.

Tai Chan’s retrial is scheduled to begin Monday in Las Cruces. The former Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputy is charged with murder in the shooting death of fellow Deputy Jeremy Martin.

The shooting happened the night of Oct. 28, 2014, at a hotel where the two were staying overnight after transporting prisoners to Arizona.

Chan has said he shot his partner in self-defense.

Chan’s attorneys were unsuccessful in their call for the case to be dismissed in the months leading up to the retrial. They most recently pointed to allegations of outrageous government conduct and a botched police investigation.

Defense Attorney John Day argued the prosecutor had a conflict of interest because a Las Cruces police detective alleged in a separate lawsuit that she was denied resources to aid in her investigation into the shooting.

District Attorney Mark D’Antonio issued a scathing letter to Las Cruces Police Chief Jaime Montoya in April saying the police department failed to notify him of the detective’s claims.

Citing the letter, Chan’s attorneys claimed the divide between prosecutors and the police department was grounds to disqualify the office from prosecuting the case.

The judge disagreed, clearing the way for the retrial to move forward.

Prosecutors have argued Chan deliberately fired multiple times at Martin as Martin tried to escape down a hotel hallway.

Martin was unarmed, prosecutors have said.

Responding officers found him wounded and staggering off an elevator. He was taken to a Las Cruces hospital, where he was pronounced dead, while Chan was found in a stairwell near the hotel’s roof.

An autopsy showed Martin was shot in the back and had other injuries that appeared related to a fight.

Chan’s lawyers contend Martin was the aggressor in the argument leading to the shooting, and Chan opened fire in self-defense.

Jurors deliberated for nearly 14 hours during the first trial nearly a year ago.

They reportedly were undecided among charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, and could not reach a consensus.


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