Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Mom Fights Deal in Daughter's Death.(West Side Journal)

Byline: Rory McClannahan Journal Staff Writer

Motion Filed Using Victims Rights Law

New Mexico voters approved a state victims rights constitutional amendment in 1992 and the Legislature passed laws to enforce the amendment in 1994.

Fermina Swick said she had not thought about the law until her daughter, Mona Chavez, was killed. Now Swick is using the state victims rights laws to fight a plea deal and sentencing made with the suspect in Chavez's death, Jimmy Saiz, by the Sandoval County district attorney in May.

Swick, with the help of the New Mexico Victims Rights Project, has filed a motion alleging Saiz's plea agreement and sentencing had violated state victims rights laws. The motion asks that they be withdrawn and redone.

District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said Tuesday said the District Attorney's Office would support the motion, but he believed all the constitutional requirements were met by prosecutors when they asked for a delay in sentencing and because prosecutors offered to withdraw the plea agreement. …

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