Created: 01/17/2014 7:00 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Fifth Judicial District Attorney Janetta Hicks says she has too many ties to the Berrendo Middle School shooting case to prosecute it. In a statement, she pointed out several conflicts of interest.
Hicks has three nieces and two nephews in gym, heard an emotional 9-1-1 call by one of her nieces on a cable news show, knows Mason Campbell's parents and has known Berrendo Middle School principal Susie Martin be entire life. Hicks also worked with victim Kendal Sanders' grandfather for many years.
Hicks went on to write: "These connections would render any handling of this matter by me subject to questions or criticism to the detriment of all the parties involved. My prosecution of this would become an unwarranted distraction, which would not serve the victims, their families, the child or the people of Chaves County."
She's asked Matt Chandler, the 9th District Attorney based out of Clovis, to handle the case.
"My plan is to get the official paper work filed on that appointment and brief with the New Mexico State Police immediately and start deciding what steps we need to take next," Chandler said.
Chandler has not yet had a chance to speak with the suspect or the victims.