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Carranza hearing to begin

August 16, 2011 • Local News

The District Attorney’s key witness, Christopher Glen, in the case of New Mexico versus Jesus Carranza has disappeared.
Assistant District Attorney Debra Hutchins informed the court that “he has cut his ankle monitor. He (Glenn) told our investigator (Patrick) Barncastle that he thought he was being hunted by the Mexican Mafia.
Carranza, 27, is charged with the murder of Zachary Perez, 16, whose body was found in a vacant lot near East Fifth Street.
Judge Charles C. Currier wanted to know if Glenn had been served with a subpoena for the competency assessment.
Defense attorney Michael Gomez said, “He has absconded from probation so, no, he has not been served.”
In the July 13 hearing, Gomez requested an assessment of the State’s key witness when he discovered Glen had been treated for bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. At that time, Currier agreed, but the witness did not appear for the initial hearing.
Currier asked if James Gomez would testify. Gomez was Carranza’s co-defendant in the Feb. 13, 2010, slaying. He was aquitted of first-degree murder charges on April 29.
Defense said the former co-defendant would be called to testify.
Currier then asked the prosecutor if they had any new evidence beyond Glenn’s testimony.
Hutchins replied that Officer Miguel Lopez was going to review footprint evidence. “He has been working on it since before the Gomez trial, but was unable to complete it in time . . . because the mess around the body.”
Currier inquired if the defendant Gomez had testified at his trial in April and if his testimony indicated that Carranza was at the scene at the time of the killing.
“Mr. Gomez was not a plausible witness,” Hutchins said. She noted that, according to Gomez’s testimony, “Carranza drove to the site (of the killing), got out at the site and ran in the opposite direction.”
Currier pointed out that without Glenn’s testimony, the State had nothing substantive to offer.
Hutchins said she would talk with Lopez tomorrow to ensure the footprint evidence would be ready.
Currier spoke to the defense attorney. “If it (the footprint evidence) is not, Mr Gomez, there’s no hurdles to jump over.”
Carranza’s defense attorney said he had not received a complete list of Glenn’s convictions from the District Attorney’s office. Currier suggested if Gomez needed to find out the charges Glenn faced in Las Cruces he could look on-line. Currier repeated that the final hearing to review evidence was set for Aug. 26 at 8 a.m. Carranza’s jury trial is scheduled to start on Aug. 30.
j.palmer@roswell-record.com

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