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Police Department Unleashes on Judge After Suspect in Two Murder Cases Is Set Free

  As a New Mexico murder suspect breathed the sweet air of freedom Tuesday, police officials and the family of one victim say something stin...

 As a New Mexico murder suspect breathed the sweet air of freedom Tuesday, police officials and the family of one victim say something stinks in the justice system.

On Tuesday, Judge Stan Whitaker ruled that 18-year-old Adrian Avila could go free as long as he wears an ankle monitor, according to KRQE-TV.

Avila faces charges in two separate killings. In one, he is accused of killing a man in February 2021 as part of a robbery scheme gone wrong. His co-defendant, Anna Dukes, remains in jail pending trial. Avila is also charged with another murder in a separate case from 2020. 

“The ankle monitor is not the answer for somebody who has a violent history or a violent charge on their hands,” Albuquerque police Chief Harold Medina said, according to KOAT-TV.

“A judge released a murder suspect from jail today on an ankle monitor. Adrian Avila is charged for 2 separate murders. Think about that. Two murders. This suspect is at the root of the gun violence we’re seeing in Albuquerque and the record number of homicides,” the Albuquerque Police Department tweeted. 

“At the same time, we are getting reports of violent suspects cutting off their ankle monitors and left to roam the streets until we re-arrest them. This is beyond upsetting. This jeopardizes the safety of our community, including our officers.”

Alicia Otero, the mother of the man Avila is suspected of killing in 2021, said she was “absolutely devastated” that her son’s accused killer is free awaiting trial, according to KOB-TV.

“I just know that he’s dangerous,” she said speaking about Avila. “He’s dangerous to the community, he’s dangerous to law enforcement officers, he’s a danger to us. We’re scared right now for ourselves, for our son that he did kidnap.”

Otero has tried to advocate for changes in the justice system but said the fight seems hopeless after this ruling. 

“How do I give hope to other families? How do I give hope to other families if I couldn’t even get justice for my son? It has just been an emotional rollercoaster for us,” she said.

“I take this as a big loss for us, we relive this over and over again. And this has just been pain to my very core,” she said. 

Luis Otero, the victim’s father, told KOAT that fear stalks the family with Avila on the loose.

“Where’s he going to be at? What’s he going to be doing? Is he going to come for us? We’re just, we don’t know. It’s hard for us to sleep right now,” he said. 

“I feel another family is going to have to go through the pain that we’re going through by losing their loved one also. Every day we wake up. I don’t eat, I don’t sleep. All I think about is what it took from us. He took my baby,” Alicia Otero told KOAT.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez said he has never seen a person accused of two murders released.

“We’ve made the decision already to file an appeal of that order and seek review from an appellate court and ask that Mr. Avila be remanded into custody pending the outcome of not just one, but two separate murder cases,” Torrez said. 

Defense attorney Ahmad Assed said Tuesday that it’s not his client’s fault that the case against him is weak, according to KOB-TV.

“No criminal history, no history of failure to appears, he’s got a family that he’s associated with that are law-abiding citizens, hard-working folks, he reached out to law enforcement and sought out the turn-in on his own, and, quite frankly, conditions have never been in place where we can say he’s ever violated conditions of the court,” Assed said.

“We don’t decide cases based on innuendo and DA’s closing arguments geared toward the eye of the media. That was the whole deal today, was just those notion of a closing argument or opening statement for the media’s purposes,” Assed said.

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