CRIME

The Latest: Defense: Jury's outcome sends a strong message

The Latest on the retrial of a former Santa Fe County deputy charged in the death of a fellow deputy (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

A defense attorney for a former New Mexico sheriff's deputy facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of a fellow deputy says he's pleased that most jurors did not believe his client was guilty.

A state district judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the case of Tai Chan, who was accused of shooting Jeremy Martin during what authorities described as an alcohol-fueled argument.

Jurors informed the judge after deliberating for less than four hours that they would not be able to reach a unanimous decision on lesser possible charges that included second-degree murder or manslaughter.

Defense attorney John Day says none of the jurors believed Chan was guilty of first-degree murder. He says the outcome sends a strong message, and he hopes prosecutors consider that both of Chan's trials have resulted in mistrials.

Prosecutors say they were consulting with Martin's family on the next step. It was not immediately clear if they would pursue a retrial.

___

3:50 p.m.

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a former New Mexico sheriff's deputy who was charged in the shooting death of a fellow deputy during what authorities described as an alcohol-fueled dispute.

The ruling came Tuesday after jurors informed the judge they would not be able to reach a unanimous decision in the case of Tai Chan. They deliberated for less than four hours.

Chan was charged with first-degree murder in the October 2014 death of Jeremy Martin. The two Santa Fe County deputies had stopped in Las Cruces for the night after transporting an inmate and had been drinking before the shooting.

Prosecutors called Chan a heartless killer whose claims of self-defense amounted to lies. They pointed to forensic evidence that included bullet trajectories and the location of casings found inside the hotel room.

The defense said Martin was the aggressor that night and Chan was only trying to protect himself.

Chan's first trial ended last year when jurors could not reach a unanimous decision.

___

12:15 p.m.

Jurors have started deliberating the case of a former New Mexico deputy charged in the 2014 shooting death of a fellow deputy during an alcohol-fueled dispute.

Closing arguments were delivered Tuesday following two weeks of testimony.

Prosecutors are calling Tai Chan a heartless killer, saying his claims of self-defense are a lie.

Defense attorneys for Chan say their client was only trying to save his only life when he shot Jeremy Martin while the two were staying in Las Cruces after transporting an inmate.

It's unclear how long deliberations could last.

Chan is charged with first-degree murder. His first trial ended last year when jurors could not reach a unanimous decision.

___

10:07 a.m.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberating in the case of a former New Mexico deputy who was charged with shooting and killing a fellow deputy during an alcohol-fueled dispute.

The judge gave jurors their instructions Tuesday before prosecutors and defense attorneys prepared to deliver closing arguments in the retrial of Tai Chan, who is charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 death of Santa Fe County Deputy Jeremy Martin.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the trial wrapped up Friday with Chan taking the witness stand. Chan claims he carried out the shooting in self-defense.

He's accused of gunning down Martin at a Las Cruces hotel where the two were staying after transporting an inmate.

The first trial ended last year in a mistrial when jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision.