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Jury, Tai Chan escorted to scene of 2014 deadly shooting

The murder retrial for former Santa Fe County deputy Tai Chan began on May 9.

The retrial for a former Santa Fe County deputy accused of killing his partner is underway.

Opening statements began Tuesday morning, as Tai Chan is accused of killing Jeremy Martin at a hotel in Las Cruces back in 2014.

In court Tuesday, both the prosecution and the defense described what happened moments before Martin was killed.

The deputies stopped in Las Cruces after transporting a prisoner to Arizona.

The prosecution said Martin was unarmed when he and Chan got into a fight in their hotel room.

District Attorney Mark D’Antonio described the five shots that hit Martin in the back as rhythmic, methodical and accurate.

Defense Attorney Tom Clark said Chan felt threatened for his life and claimed Martin told Chan during the struggle “I’m going to murder you.”

The jury along with Chan were escorted by one member of both the defense and prosecution to Hotel Encanto, the scene of the shooting, to get a visual perspective of what happened the night Martin was killed.

Major Gabe Gonzalez with the Santa Fe Sheriff's Department also testified Tuesday saying Martin wasn't supposed to join Chan in transferring the inmate.

Gonzalez said Martin had requested overtime. Martin's wife, Sarah Martin, took the stand and said the reason her husband wanted overtime was to better provide for their child who was on the way. She said they had four children together and described her husband as genuine, well grounded and polite.

The Las Cruces Police Department detective who found Martin said he was face down and covered in blood near an elevator on the first floor of the hotel.


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