Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Judge Throws Out Conviction in Murder Case.(Final)

Byline: Scott Sandlin Journal Staff Writer

Misleading Questions By Prosecutor Cited

A prosecutor's questioning of a defendant during trial was so out of bounds that a murder conviction is being thrown out, a judge said Tuesday.

District Judge Neil Candelaria took the unusual step of barring a retrial of Charles McClaugherty ordered by the state Supreme Court in March based on other violations by the prosecution.

Candelaria, clearly perturbed, said he had been "misled" at trial by Assistant District Attorney Kenny Montoya, who was recently sworn in as the head of the New Mexico National Guard. He said Montoya's actions cast serious doubt about whether McClaugherty, 22, was even one of the shooters in the fatal confrontation at a Northeast Heights parking lot. …

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