ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE NEWS
Attorney General Hector Balderas has announced that the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld multiple murder convictions where the Office of the Attorney General represented the State on appeal. In two seperate rulings, the Court upheld first-degree murder convictions of Muhammad Ameer and Bradley Scott Farrington.
“These brutal crimes impact the lives of all New Mexican families, and I am grateful to the Court for its thoughtful deliberation in these cases and that they upheld these valid convictions,” said Attorney General Balderas. “These cases are a culmination of a team effort by trial and appellate prosecutors who achieved a just result for the victims’ families.”
Farrington, a former police Silver City police officer, was convicted of murder for the strangulation death of his estranged wife Cassy. Multiple hearsay statements were admitted at trial to establish the victim’s ongoing fear of Farrington and his use of his position as a police officer to intimidate her and dissuade her from contacting the authorities. The Court found that these statements were admissible under the forfeiture-by-wrongdoing hearsay exception because Farrington intended to procure Cassy’s unavailability as a witness. The Court also found that the evidence admitted at trial – including these statements – were sufficient to uphold the murder conviction.
Regarding the Farrington case, AG Balderas added: “This case demonstrates that no one is above the law. This defendant used his position as a police officer to terrorize his victim, and I applaud the Court for its thoughtful and comprehensive treatment of this important issue of law because it most often applies in cases of domestic violence.”
In the Ameer case, the prosecution was conducted by Assistant Attorneys General Mark Probasco and Collin Brennan. Ameer was convicted of stabbing to death a man whom he then robbed. The Supreme Court rejected his claims that his waiver of Miranda rights was not knowing and voluntary. The Court also rejected his claim that he acted in self-defense, noting that the evidence did not establish that Ameer was justified in using deadly force against the victim.