Judge orders court to produce GPS data for Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday a legal win in the battle to obtain GPS ankle monitor data of released defendants.
13th Judicial District Court Judge James A. Noel ruled Monday the Second Judicial District Court must produce GPS records to the district attorney’s office within 15 days.
The judge sided with the district attorney’s office, which argued a reasonable expectation of location privacy does not exist for defendants granted pretrial release with a GPS monitor.
In December 2021, the district attorney’s office filed the lawsuit after the court denied their April 2021 Inspection of Public Records Act request for Jesse Mascareno-Haidle and Devin Munford’s GPS data. The two defendants were deemed dangerous but were granted pretrial release with an ankle monitor.
Upon denying the office’s IPRA request, the Second Judicial District Court argued that releasing Munford’s GPS location data to the district attorney or to the police would violate Munford’s right to privacy and judges’ deliberative privilege.
However, the judge did not side with this argument and now the court must release the GPS records to the district attorney’s office.
General Counsel Adrianne Turner, of the New Mexico Law Offices of the Public Defender, issued the following comment on the ruling:
“Remember, the vast majority of people on pretrial release comply with their restrictions. Even if you think that people who have been charged with a crime should lose their privacy rights, there is a legitimate question whether their minute-by-minute whereabouts should be visible to absolutely everyone.”
While released, police believe Munford robbed a convenience store and shot and killed 22-year-old Devon Heyborne in April 2021.
Mascareno-Haidle was accused of breaking into students’ cars at Rio Grande High School while out on pretrial release with an ankle monitor. He is also accused of burglarizing around 80 homes.
The Second Judicial District Court shared the following statement with KOB 4:
“The Second Judicial District Court is committed to fully responding to all records requests that come in from the public and to diligently comply with the Inspection of Public Records Act. The Court understands the importance of each public records request and takes each request seriously. The Court has at all times acted in good faith and will continue to do so. While the Second Judicial District Court respects the analysis and decision in the Order issued on August 1, 2022, the Second Judicial District Court is evaluating its right to appeal.”