Editor’s Note: Please note that the following was written by a District Attorney General and sent as a press release to the Los Alamos Reporter.
The First Jurisdiction Law Firm is disappointed with Judge Jason Lidyard’s decision today to plead for Life Plus Nine Years in the State v. Refuse Gage. Mr. Gage tried to plead guilty to a brutal triple homicide.
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said, “It was very clear to us from the victims’ families that they did not want to go through any further trial. The last one was traumatic for them, and they all agreed with all their hearts that this plea was justice in their eyes. “
The district attorney’s office, in consultation with and in conjunction with the victims, ruled on a plea that asked the defendant to relate to all three murders, but to get them all at once, in order to plead and acknowledge that he was responsible for his actions took over.
“I acknowledge that Judge Lidyard, as an elected member of the judiciary in the state of New Mexico, has broad discretion that is seldom subject to appeal or review by a higher court. However, I also have a discretion that allows me to weigh various factors and considerations in pursuing justice. I take this responsibility seriously – this plea provided justice over the power that comes with discretion, ”said Carmack-Altwies.
Prosecutors also note that Judge Lidyard has had the signed records for over two weeks since April 28. “If Judge Lidyard had concerns about the deliberate, traumatized request, it would have been easy to email or schedule a hearing to raise his concerns rather than rejecting the plea this morning and closing the victims’ families to refuse, ”said Carmack-Altwies.
Prosecutors find it difficult, if not impossible, to clean up Judge Lidyard’s inconsistencies. Today he declined a plea for a life sentence of more than 9 years, but on February 2, 2021, Judge Lidyard released Timothy Lopez, a first degree murder accused, on conditions of release to the Rio Arriba community.
The prosecution believes that the decision to cancel the plea in State v. Rejecting Gage, doing the pursuit of justice and especially the affected families a disservice.