Opening statements conclude in APD wrongful death case
Posted at: 03/07/2013 6:49 PM
| Updated at: 03/07/2013 6:57 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Opening statements and some witness testimony statements are complete in a trial where Kenneth Ellis' family is suing the city of Albuquerque for damages in their son's death.
Ellis was shot and killed by an APD officer in 2010 after an incident that began as a traffic stop and ended with Ellis putting a gun to his own head for awhile before Officer Brett Lampiris-Tremba fatally shot him.
There were other officers on scene as well.
Judge Shannon Bacon already ruled the shooting unconstitutional, asserting that no reasonable officer would have shot Ellis and that none of the other officers on scene chose to shoot.
Ellis family attorney Shannon Kennedy focused her opening statement on two central themes.
One was that the officers involved did not all follow proper Crisis Intervention Training. The statement asserted that either they were not following what they'd learned or that APD or the City of Albuquerque had not provided them with sufficient training.
The second focus was the worth of Kenneth Ellis' life; they pointed out that he was an Iraq veteran with a four year old son and a life ahead of him.
They also pointed out faults within Lampiris-Tremba's history, including lying on a police force application and several of his mistakes while on the force.
APD's attorney Kathy Levy countered by saying that they respect the judge's decision that the shooting was unconstitutional and Lampiris-Tremba won't deny that he was shooting to kill, but they ask that the jury assign damages that are within reason.
They pointed out that Ellis wasn't working at the time of his death and that claimed that in many ways, officers had performed using the proper training.
Then, Officer Trey Economidy, who was also on the scene, took the stand. He talked about how he did feel his life was in danger that day and felt he used the training that he should have.
APD Sgt Cassandra Kukowski also took the stand, as an expert witness on crisis intervention.
Damages will go to Ellis' son, Kenneth Ellis IV; his grandfather said he hopes the trial makes a difference.
"There's a lot of good people in the world, a lot of good officers being victimized by the blue code of silence and the bad cops," Ellis said.