Probable cause found to charge officer in Latino man's death | KOB 4
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Probable cause found to charge officer in Latino man's death

Probable cause found to charge officer in Latino man's death

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.

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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.)

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