The Associated Press
Created: October 02, 2020 05:40 PM
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico magistrate court judge has ruled there is probable cause to charge a former Las Cruces police officer in the choking death of a Mexican American man.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports Third Judicial District Court Judge Casey Fitch ruled this week there was enough evidence to order former Las Cruces Police officer Christopher Smelser to stand trial for second-degree murder.
Smelser is accused of the Feb. 29 chokehold death of Antonio Valenzuela after he fled from a traffic stop.
Smelser’s attorney, Amy L. Orlando, said Smelser had been trained to use the hold and the murder charge was a political move.
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)