Dec. 3

The Taos News - - LOCAL NEWS -

Carla Casias, or­der ex­tend­ing time – Taos District Court, court­room not spec­i­fied, Judge T. Glenn Elling­ton

Judge Elling­ton stip­u­lated an or­der this month to al­low de­fense coun­sel for Casias and co-de­fen­dant Isaac Martinez ad­di­tional time to re­spond to a state’s mo­tion to ad­mit cell phone ev­i­dence pre­vi­ously barred from an armed rob­bery case.

In 2013, a grand jury in­dicted Casias and Martinez on con­spir­acy to com­mit armed rob­bery and armed rob­bery after a gun­man stole $110,000 in cash from an em­ployee car­ry­ing a bank de­posit in the park­ing lot of Kit Car­son Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive. Crit­i­cal to the in­dict­ments was the pre­sen­ta­tion of cell phone records be­long­ing to the de­fen­dants that al­legedly in­di­cated their plot to carry out the rob­bery.

The cases were later thrown out, how­ever, after former Taos District Court Judge John Pater­nos­ter learned that the 8th Ju­di­cial District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice had sub­poe­naed the cell phone records with­out the ap­proval of a judge or grand jury. District At­tor­ney Don­ald Gal­le­gos and former pros­e­cu­tor Emilio Chavez were rep­ri­manded by the supreme court for the il­le­gal is­suance of the sub­poe­nas.

The New Mex­ico Supreme Court in April re­versed Pater­nos­ter’s de­ci­sion to dis­miss the grand jury in­dict­ments, re­open­ing the case.

Since then, de­fense coun­sel for both Casias and Martinez has moved to sup­press the cell phone ev­i­dence due to the un­law­ful sub­poe­nas is­sued in 2013.

The Taos district at­tor­ney sub­mit­ted a 17-page mo­tion to rein­tro­duce the records as the cases move for­ward. While it ac­knowl­edges that the records were “seized un­law­fully,” it notes that they “would have been seized in­de­pen­dently and law­fully in due course un­der New Mex­ico’s in­evitable dis­cov­ery rule ...”

On Mon­day (Dec. 3), Judge Elling­ton granted the de­fense un­til Jan. 15, 2019 to file its re­sponse to the state’s mo­tion.

For more on this case, re­fer to our past cov­er­age on­line at bit.ly/2zBSDaE.

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