A pre-trial hearing was held telephonically in Magistrate Court on Wednesday morning for Detective Jeannie Madsen, who was arrested and charged with battery of a household member on Jan. 9.
Defense attorney S. Douglas Jones Witt stated that he believed the case merits a jury trial. Both defense counsel and special prosecutor Matt Chandler estimated the trial would probably take no longer than a day.
Madsen, an 11-year veteran of the Roswell Police Department, was arrested in connection with a domestic violence incident which occurred on Jan. 8. Madsenâ€™s husband, Sgt. Eric Madsen, arrived at the RPD the following morning to report the incident.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court, Eric Madsen stated he and his wife got into a verbal argument, and â€œshe kicked him and struck him, causing bruises and scrapes.â€ The of ficer who took the report said he saw bruises and scrapes on Eric Madsenâ€™s legs.
During a press conference, then-interim Police Chief Dennis Kintigh was unwilling to discuss the cause of the altercation. Eric Madsen was placed on paid administrative leave and Jeannie Madsen was placed on paid leave. In response to an inquiry about the length of time two officers have been placed on paid leave, City Manager Larry Fry said, â€œCertainly we would like to see this proceed as quickly as possible.â€ Stacye Hunter, city of Roswellâ€™s Human Resources Department director, explained that paid administrative leave is not considered disciplinary action, but is used after an incident pending an investigation.
She cited as an example if an officer were to have an accident, then he or she would be put on paid administrative leave until the results of drug tests were returned.
â€œIf convicted, Jeannie Madsen will not be able to be a police officer anywhere in the United States,â€ Kintigh said during the initial press conference.
â€œNo one charged with domestic violence can carry a gun.â€ During the hearing, Jones Witt requested a further modification in Madsenâ€™s condition of release. In a previous hearing held on Jan. 21, modification to Madsenâ€™s conditions of release were discussed.
Judge Martha Proctor of Carrizozo Magistrate Court ruled then that the â€œdefendant shall be allowed to travel outside Chaves County and the State of New Mexico; The Defendant shall be allowed contact with alleged victim, only with third party supervision; Defendant shall be allowed to carry a firearm for purpose of her employment as a Roswell Police Officer (and) the Defendant shall leave her firearm in the custody of the RPD while off duty.â€
Jones Witt requested further â€œrelaxing the conditionsâ€ allowing the husband and wife to meet without a third party present. He said that they had been meeting with the pastor of Grace Community Church. â€œThese two folks are trying to work on their marriage.â€ said Jones Witt. Judge Proctor said that full disclosure, or discovery, and motions had to be filed by end of business 30 days from now.
The trial date has not been scheduled, although dates in the latter part of April or the first weeks of May were discussed. After the hearing, Jones Witt described his client as being in good spirits.
â€œThis is a misunderstanding between a husband and a wife that has gotten blown out of proportion,â€ he said. Judge Proctor took over the case after Judge John J. Halvorson and Judge Eugene M. De Los Santos filed to be recused from the case on Jan. 12.