High court reverses evidence suppression decision
Posted at: 08/02/2012 5:03 PM
| Updated at: 08/02/2012 6:24 PM
By: Whitney Jones, KOB.com
The New Mexico Supreme Court has granted Attorney General Gary King's appeal to reverse a lower court's decision to suppress evidence in a 2005 Albuquerque double homicide case.
That means the key piece of evidence can now be used to link a suspect with the crime.
Former mortgage loan officer Ronald Santiago is charged with the murders of Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher.
Santiago has twice appealed the admission of a Ruger 9mm handgun shell casing, which was found during a search of his house, which police said matched the casings found inside the Ohlemacher home.
Santiago argued for suppression on the grounds that a daytime search warrant was issued to execute a nighttime search, court documents state. And he later argued that the warrantless sweep was an unreasonable search
Former Bernalillo County District Court Judge Pat Murdoch granted those motions, a decision which prompted King to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
In its ruling the high Court stated, "because we conclude that the evidence was not discovered through any exploitation of the afternoon sweep, we hold that the district court should not have suppressed either the bullet casing or any other evidence."
Further proceedings in the case have been remanded back to the lower Court.
In the case, Santiago has already pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal to two counts of forgery, one count of tampering with evidence and two counts of issuing forgeries - all third degree felonies.