Jail calls heard by jury in Luis Talamantes-Romero trial

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Luis Talamantes-Romero is on trial for the 2019 killing of Jacqueline Vigil.

On Friday, the prosecution and the defense discussed evidence like jailhouse phone calls in the hours following the fatal shooting. The state claims that these phone calls give context.

One phone call is a recording when Talamantes-Romero and his sister Elizabeth are together after the killing, about to head to San Antonio.

The phone call starts with Talamantes-Romero talking to his nephew, Eric, about 12 hours after the deadly shooting. Eric starts asking questions about where they are because he says pictures of the Jeep are on the news.

Talamantes-Romero then hands the phone off to his sister to talk to him. Once Eric talks to his mother on the phone, they talk about getting Luis out of town and hiding the Jeep.

The state argued the call proves the entire family was involved in tampering with evidence in some manner. Meanwhile, the defense said the phone call should not be played for the jury because there is no way to prove getting rid of evidence was done at his direction.

“Talk about discussions amongst family members or friends or associates or whatever, maybe they have a conspiracy in their own mind, I do not know, but it doesn’t directly involve Mr. Talamantes,” said Kathleen Rhinehart, Talamantes-Romero’s defense attorney.

The judge ultimately decided Monday to allow the jury to hear portions of the call where they talk about getting Talamantes-Romero out of town and hiding the Jeep.

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Read more about the first week of the trial and the case here: