Magistrate: Las Cruces Judge's Bribery Case Can Go To Trial

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A magistrate has found probable cause to believe that a New Mexico district judge attempted to bribe a fellow judge for her vote in an election.

The ruling means the case against Judge Michael Murphy will proceed in state District Court.

Murphy was arrested in July after he was accused of trying to bribe fellow District Judge Lisa Schultz last December in exchange for a tie-breaking vote in a chief judge's election.

The Las Cruces Sun-News says Magistrate Judge Conrad Perea's decision came Saturday after four hours of cross examination of Schultz during a preliminary hearing in open court.

The 66-year-old Murphy has pleaded not guilty in the case. He remains on indefinite, unpaid suspension from the bench. His case is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 31.

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