KUNM

Marisa Demarco

Reporter

Marisa Demarco is a reporter and musician based in Albuquerque, N.M. She's spent more than a decade in journalism, founding the New Mexico Compass, and editing and writing for the Weekly Alibi, the Albuquerque Tribune and UNM's Daily Lobo. She covered poverty and public health until September 2016 when she became a general assignment reporter at KUNM. 

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New Mexico In Focus (screenshot)

Local Democratic victories were overshadowed by bleak numbers dribbling in for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton last night at an event in Albuquerque. But Democrats regained control of New Mexico’s House of Representatives.

Wikimedia Commons via CC

Anxiety about voter intimidation has laced the final weeks of a tense election cycle around the country. But one nonpartisan organization in New Mexico is ready to help. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Candidates in this year’s presidential election have been tight-lipped about the fight against an oil pipeline in North Dakota and how demonstrators there are being treated by police. That’s weighing on Sharon Chavez, who is Navajo and Hopi-Tewa. She’s a retired educator who’s lived in San Felipe Pueblo for 47 years. She talked with KUNM about what it means for her as a woman to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

Courtesy of Yesenia Luna

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has escalated the national battle over immigration and race in America with his views on Mexican immigrants and building a wall for border security. KUNM talked to Yesenia Luna, a pre-law student at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, about how the national rhetoric affected her ballot.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Mountainair is a small town in New Mexico about an hour and a half southeast of Albuquerque. It’s got one streetlight and one gas station. Pastor Darrell Roberts says he likes living out in the open where people look at things from a humble perspective and live a simpler—if usually less affluent—lifestyle.

As part of our Voices Behind The Vote series, KUNM talked with Pastor Roberts about what matters to him as Election Day comes down the tracks.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

If you live in a rural part of New Mexico where your nearest neighbor is miles away, it could be tempting to just tune out this year’s election. But David Doler says he can’t ignore things like Social Security, Medicare or any talk of infringing on a person’s right to keep and bear arms.

Sarah Trujillo / KUNM

New Mexico’s struggled to recover fully from the recession, and it can still be a real challenge to find steady work in the state. That’s central to how 18-year-old Quinton Valencia is casting his vote this year. KUNM tagged along with Valencia as he applied for a job at Target in Rio Rancho.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

For many voters, choosing who should be commander in chief includes weighing how the United States will relate to the rest of the world. KUNM hung out in the classroom with a soldier who’s also a college student at the University of New Mexico. Joshua Ramirez is voting for the first time in 2016 because foreign affairs and national security are his top concerns.

During the murder trial of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed a man with mental illness, video and audio of James Boyd ranting and threatening police officers was played by the defense. The neighbor who called the police on him took the stand to say that he was afraid of the man, who was homeless and camping nearby in the Sandia Foothills. Boyd might not have had a lot of other options.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It wasn’t the biggest anti-police violence demonstration Albuquerque has seen—fluctuating between around 50 and 100 people. But tensions were high, especially when law enforcement seemed to outnumber protesters.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Demonstrators protested police violence in downtown Albuquerque on Wednesday, Oct. 12, a day after a hung jury resulted in a mistrial in the murder trial of two former APD officers who shot and killed James Boyd.  

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Two Albuquerque police officers were charged with second-degree murder for an on-the-job shooting for the first time in at least half a century. They were facing up to 15 years in prison for killing James Boyd, who’d been camping illegally for about a month in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains in 2014. The jury announced that it was deadlocked Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Juan Labreche / Associated Press

The jury is deliberating whether two former Albuquerque police officers will be convicted of second-degree murder after shooting and killing James Boyd, a homeless man with mental illness in 2014.

Boyd’s brother Andrew Jones wrote in an email that it was painful to watch his brother killed again and again as the video was replayed in court. Boyd won’t be forgotten, he wrote, and that gives him some comfort. His life mattered. 

Marla Brose / Albuquerque Journal

A jury heard closing arguments on Thursday, Oct. 6, and will weigh the fate of two Albuquerque police officers charged with second-degree murder for killing James Boyd in 2014.

Marla Brose / Albuquerque Journal

After James Boyd was shot and killed by members of the Albuquerque Police Department, a recording emerged of one of those officers telling a colleague he was going to shoot Boyd hours before he did it. Keith Sandy is facing aggravated battery and second-degree murder charges. During much of his testimony on Wednesday, Oct. 5, he tried to explain police culture and the banter between officers.

Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal

The defense asked the judge on Wednesday, Oct. 5, to dismiss all charges against the two former Albuquerque Police Department officers who shot James Boyd in 2014. 

Greg Sorber / Albuquerque Journal

After members of the Albuquerque Police Department killed James Boyd in 2014, audio was released of one officer saying he was going to shoot Boyd with a Taser shotgun before he’d even gone into the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains.

For the first time in memory, two former Albuquerque police officers are facing second-degree murder charges for an on-the-job shooting. And their trial is offering a rare glimpse into the mindset of law enforcement in tense situations. Former officer Dominique Perez took the stand in his own defense on Tuesday.

Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal

One of the two former Albuquerque police officers facing second-degree murder charges for shooting and killing James Boyd took the stand in his own defense on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Marla Brose / Albuquerque Journal

Two former Albuquerque police officers are facing murder charges for what could be the first time here. The effectiveness of the SWAT team in dangerous situations has come into play during the trial, and police who were there the day James Boyd was shot in 2014 have been testifying in court. It’s the first time the public has heard directly from many of these officers. 

Greg Sorber / Albuquerque Journal

The defense has started putting on its case on Thursday, Sept. 29, in the trial of two Albuquerque police officers facing murder charges for shooting and killing James Boyd.  There were protests in Albuquerque after the shooting, and many people objected to police treatment of the homeless man, who had a mental illness.

Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal

A longtime Los Angeles police officer and trainer took the stand on Friday, Sept. 30, to testify that the Albuquerque police who were near James Boyd before he was killed were acting professionally.

Roberto Rosales / Albuquerque Journal

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday in the trial of two former Albuquerque officers, and now it’s the defense’s turn to present the events that led to the death of James Boyd, the homeless man killed by police in 2014. 

Greg Sorber / Albuquerque Journal

In the trial of the two Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed James Boyd, question surfaced about why tactical officers went to the scene when they weren’t officially activated that Sunday in 2014. 

Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal

District Court Judge Alisa Hadfield declined Wednesday to drop the second-degree murder charges against two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd in 2014. But she did drop voluntary manslaughter charges, leaving jurors with fewer options for their verdict.

Juan Labreche / Associated Press

Defense attorneys filed a motion on Wednesday, Sept. 28, alleging misconduct by the prosecution in the trial of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot homeless camper James Boyd.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

A U.S. District Court judge has found the Human Services Department secretary in contempt of court after hearings this summer when state employees testified that they were instructed to falsify food stamps applications.

Russell Contreras / Associated Press

Most of the testimony on Tuesday, Sept. 27, during the trial of the former Albuquerque police officers who shot James Boyd came from an APD officer who was trained to talk to people with mental illnesses. 

Officer Mikal Monette spent a lot of time talking to Boyd, who had a mental illness, before things went south on that day in 2014. Monette had a reputation for being the go-to officer for crisis intervention, he said, and he’d de-escalated hundreds of situations. He told the court he’d never encountered a person he couldn’t talk down.

Associated Press

For most people who’ve seen the footage of Albuquerque Police shooting James Boyd, the scene ends when the shots have been fired. But testimony Monday, Sept. 26, in the trial of former officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez looked at the physical impact of those bullets and what happened next. 

Juan Labreche / Associated Press

Police shootings around the country are causing protests and outcry, and video footage from many of these shootings is shedding new light on the moments before a person is killed by law enforcement.

Here in New Mexico, a video ignited demonstrations and drew national attention after two Albuquerque Police Department officers shot and killed James Boyd in March of 2014. They’re now on trial for murder.  

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