Concerned community members question local judges
June 11, 2019 11:06 AM
CORRECTION: This story has been corrected from an earlier version that identified Bernalillo County District Court Judge Charles Brown as the judge who released Darian Bashir in February 2019. In fact, it was retired 5th Judicial District Judge J. Richard Brown of Carlsbad who released Bashir in February. At the time, Judge J. Richard Brown was serving as a pro-tem judge in the 2nd Judicial District.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Local judges were in the hot seat Monday night as community members asked questions during a meeting in northeast Albuquerque.
One question asked by a member of the public had to do with the release of the suspect in the murder of UNM baseball player Jackson Weller.
Retired 5th Judicial District Judge J. Richard Brown of Carlsbad released Darian Bashir in February 2019 while serving as a pro-tem judge in the 2nd Judicial District. That was months before Bashir was accused of killing Weller.
Bashir had been arrested after police say he fired a gun from a moving car, narrowly missing nearby officers.
Judge J. Richard Brown released Bashir noting there was not enough evidence to keep him locked up ahead of a trial. Then in May, police say Bashir shot and killed Weller.
One resident expressed his concern about violent suspects being released from jail as they await a trial.
“Even though you’re innocent until proven guilty, to me, that seems like it should have been taken more into consideration as a danger to the community,” said Fred Rose.
Bernalillo County District Court Judge Charles Brown voluntarily addressed the concern.
“I live in this community,” he said. “My wife lives here she, has a business here, I have three of my adult children, I love all of them deeply and I challenge anyone to give me a reason why I would turn someone loose to put any of those people at risk if the law didn't require it.”
The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office reports that 53-percent of pretrial detention motions have been denied.
Updated: June 11, 2019 11:06 AM
Created: June 10, 2019 10:21 PM
Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved