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Articles by David Reutter

Eighth Circuit: Plain Error to Impose Destructive-Device Enhancement for .410 Shotgun

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit remanded for resentencing on a defendant’s guilty plea because the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa improperly assessed a destructive-device enhancement.

The Court’s opinion was issued in an appeal by Adrian Zarate. He pleaded ...

Mississippi Supreme Court: Drug Buy Between Dealer and User Doesn’t Constitute Conspiracy to Distribute

The Supreme Court of Mississippi reversed a defendant’s conviction after finding the State failed to prove he conspired with anyone to distribute methamphetamine.

The Court’s en banc ruling was issued in an appeal brought by Duane Robert Henderson. After April Newman was contacted on the internet ...

New Mexico Supreme Court: Constitutional Error to Accept Plea Without Assistance of Counsel

The Supreme Court of New Mexico held that a magistrate court committed constitutional error by accepting a defendant’s plea of no contest without the assistance of counsel. The Court said the “case serves as a reminder that fundamentals constitutional rights cannot be jettisoned for the sake ...

$10.3 Million Verdict Against City of Albuquerque in Man's Wrongful Death by Cop Shooting

By David M. Reutter


A New Mexico state court jury awarded $10,342,558 to the Estate of Kenneth Ellis, III. The jury found that Albuquerque police officer Brett Lampiris-Tremba used excessive force in using and killing Ellis.

Lampiris-Tremba and officer Byron Economidy were working with a unit on January 13, ...

$7,500 Settlement for Arrest Without Probable Cause

by David M. Reutter

The City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, paid $7,500 to settle a lawsuit alleging police officers illegally seized, assaulted, arrested, and maliciously prosecuted Robert Alderete. His lawsuit also alleged the officers illegally searched his vehicle.

Alderete entered into a plea agreement on July 31, 2015, that allowed ...

$5,000 Settlement for Prisoner Subjected to Pepper Spray for Requesting Medication

by David M. Reutter

The GEO Group paid $5,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging violations of the Fourth and Eighth Amendments.

Gabriel H. Grado was released on August 4, 2015, from New Mexico's Mental Health Treatment Center after being treated the previous six months for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and ...

$100,000 Settlement for Excessive Force During Chase of Unarmed Man

by David M. Reutter

The City of Farmington, New Mexico, paid $100,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging a police officer chasing an unarmed man used excessive force by shooting him three times.

Michael Chavez was in a vehicle pulled over on March 22, 2014, for seat belt violations by City ...

$22,500 Settlement in Excessive Force for Killing Dog

by David M. Reutter

New Mexico's Albuquerque Police Department paid $22,500 to settle a lawsuit alleging officers acted illegally in shooting a citizen's dog.

Officers responded to a 911 call on October 19, 2009, from a woman who refused to give her address and said she no longer needed assistance. ...

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Clarifies Interpretation of Aggravating Provisions of Section 22.01(b)(2)(A) and (B), Charging One Provision at Guilt Phase Doesn’t Confer Jurisdiction to Argue Other Provision at Sentencing Phase

The Court’s opinion was issued in response to a petition for discretionary review filed by the State. The review ...

Eighth Circuit Suppresses Evidence, Ruling Plain View Exception Inapplicable

The Court’s opinion was filed in an appeal brought by the federal Government. ...



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