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Officer in James Boyd case wants job back, his attorney says

Caleb James
February 24, 2017 10:07 PM

After Bernalillo County district attorney Raul Torrez announced his decision not to bring back charges against former Albuquerque police officers, there's a lingering question. What's next in the coming days, weeks and months for those two former officers at the center of the case?

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Officers Keith Sandy and Dominque Perez were charged with an open count of murder in the shooting death of homeless camper James Boyd in March 2014. Their trial resulted in a hung jury. According to Torrez, there will be no second trial. 

When it comes to Sandy, the answer is simple. He has retired from law enforcement.

It's Dominque Perez who says he wants very much to return to the force to become an Albuquerque Police officer again, and serve the same community where a single day changed everything. 

In an emotional letter, Perez's wife Tiffanie describes her husband's 34th birthday party in March 2014.  She said the couple was surrounded by family and laughter until he was called into work to a developing situation in the Albuquerque Foothills where Boyd had been camping.

"Who would have guessed," she writes, "I'd now look back on that as the worst day of my life? But all because of that phone call, I do."

The letter was sent across the nation on behalf of the Virginia-based Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund in June 2016. The letter requested donations for Perez's legal defense as he faced trial. Sources close to the family tell KOB the financial strain has been unmanageable, especially with Perez out of work. 

"He wants to return and serve as an Albuquerque police officer," said Perez's attorney, Luis Robles.  

By phone immediately following the announcement there will be no new trial, Robles told KOB his client is working hard to get his job at APD back. 

"I think the City of Albuquerque is more than receptive to giving him his job back. It's just a matter of terms," Robles said. "You know there are a number of things. Some of them are as strangely routine as he needs to make up all the training he would have received if he'd been there."

Department spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said Perez's reinstatement would "have to be evaluated." 

Perez's co-defendant, Keith Sandy, retired from the department amidst the charges. But his attorney said the next steps are at home. 

"He is very much looking forward to spending the rest of his life with his family," said Sandy's attorney, Eric Lohman on Friday.  

But life moving forward may be particularly difficult to manage, considering what the financial drain defending themselves has meant for both men.

The Albuquerque Police Officers Association thanked the district attorney for his decision in a statement from President Shaun Willoughby:

We would like to thank District Attorney Raul Torrez and his office for undertaking a thoughtful, impartial process to review this case, and we are deeply grateful for the timely manner in which this decision was provided. We have always maintained that our officers were not guilty. Sadly, both officers still face staggering legal bills and hardship as a result of this ordeal. Donations to help both officers and their families can be made to defendthisline.com.

Credits

Caleb James

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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