New Mexico

Defense, prosecution in Chan trial call rebuttal witnesses to the stand

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The prosecution in the Tai Chan murder trial presented a rebuttal witness, Dr. Rong Jen Hwang, a toxicology expert.

Chan, a former Santa Fe County sheriff's deputy, is accused of shooting and killing fellow deputy Jeremy Martin in 2014. The two deputies were spending the night at the Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces after dropping off a prisoner in Arizona.

Witness testimony revealed the two deputies were drinking and arguing hours before the deadly shooting inside a hotel room. The defense argues Chan shot Martin in self-defense.

Thursday, toxicology expert Cecile Marczinski testified for the defense. Marczinski told jurors Chan's blood alcohol content was .24 based on how many drinks were consumed. In New Mexico, it is illegal for someone who is 21 years old or older to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher.

When asked by the defense if an individual with a .24 blood alcohol content would be able to formulate a deliberate intent to commit an act, Marcinski said, "I think they are not able to form a deliberate intent."

Friday, Dr. Hwang testified his calculations revealed Martin to be slightly more intoxicated than Marczinski claimed. Hwang's testimony was meant to discredit Marczinski's.

The defense later called LCPD Lt. Casey Mullins to the stand. Mullins said resources were allocated to investigate the crime scene. He confirmed Detective Irma Palos was the case agent and he was her supervisor. He said the case agent was obligated to pass on information on to him.

Earlier this week, Palos told the jury she was denied the use of the New Mexico State Police Department to assist in the investigation of the shooting because Mullins denied her request.

Palos has filed a lawsuit against LCPD for lack of resources needed to investigate the Chan case.


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