New Mexico

TAI CHAN RETRIAL: Victim's wife, police detective deliver tearful testimony

TAI CHAN RETRIAL: Victim's wife,...

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Jurors in the retrial of Tai Chan heard testimony from the wife of the man Chan is accused of murdering.

Chan, a former Santa Fe County sheriff's deputy, is charged with First Degree Murder. Prosecutors accuse Chan of shooting and killing fellow deputy Jeremy Martin after a drunken argument in 2014.

The deputies were spending the night in a Las Cruces Hotel after dropping off a prisoner in Arizona. The defense argues Chan killed Martin in self defense.

The prosecution called Sarah Martin, Jeremy Martin's wife, to the stand Tuesday. The woman broke down in tears when asked to identify her husband in a photograph.

Sarah said she was married to Martin for 12 years and had four children with him. She said Martin volunteered to work overtime and go on a prisoner transport with Chan, because they were expecting their fourth child and he wanted to provide for his family.

Saram says the last time she heard from Martin was just before midnight, just before his death.  "I never heard from him again," Sarah Martin said.

Jurors also hear from Detective Connie Heard, who said she found Martin face down in a pool of blood in the lobby of the Hotel Encanto.

Heard told jurors Martin, suffering from five gunshot wounds, was struggling to breathe. She made the quick decision to drive him to the hospital in a police unit. ​

"I climbed into the back seat and I put his head on my lap. I took his left leg and bent it upwards and put my arm under it and used my arm to hold onto the door so he wouldn't fall out and we drove to the hospital like that," Heard said.

The prosecution is expected to call 35 witnesses over the course of 10 days.

The defense also said Chan will testify in his own defense.


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