KUNM

Marisa Demarco

Reporter

Marisa Demarco is a reporter 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. 

Ways to Connect

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Thousands of untested sexual assault evidence kits have piled up around the state, most of them in Albuquerque. One measure that’s been filed ahead of next week’s legislative session would pitch in some state funds to get them tested.

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After last year’s fatiguing election cycle, candidates in Albuquerque are gearing up for another one: The 2017 race for mayor. 

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KUNM Year-End Show 12/22 8a: There were so many big stories in New Mexico this year that it was hard to pare down a list. Instead, our panel of journalists is going to be talking about four themes: child abuse and wellbeing, N.M. law enforcement, politics and SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

In a historic trial earlier this year, a jury weighed the fates of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed James Boyd. Three jurors could not be swayed from a guilty verdict.

The deadlock resulted in a mistrial, and days after it was announced, KUNM’s Marisa Demarco met with one of those jurors—Robby Heckman—in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains. There, a small white cross marks the spot James Boyd stood before he was killed.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

New Mexico has the highest rate of untested sexual assault evidence kits per capita in the nation. We’ve talked to advocates, a nurse and law enforcement about their surprise and struggles with decades of ignored evidence in the state. But even if a prosecutor has DNA to use in court, that doesn’t mean an accused rapist is going straight to jail. The biggest hurdle of all might be how hard it is to convince people that survivors are telling the truth. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

We call the thousands of sexual assault evidence kits in New Mexico a backlog. But as the state Auditor’s Office pointed out in an audit last week, it’s not like there’s just a long line of envelopes at the labs waiting to be tested. Actually, the kits have been sitting around law enforcement departments all over the state for decades. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

New Mexico has one of the worst sexual assault rates in the nation. And thousands of envelopes of DNA evidence that could help identify repeat sexual offenders are sitting untested. We're taking a look at what it takes for survivors to provide that evidence in the first place.

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A student group at the University of New Mexico has invited an incendiary figure to speak on campus. Milo Yiannopoulos is a columnist from the U.K., who writes for the website Breitbart News. He’s associated with the so-called “alt-right,” a term the Associated Press says white supremacists have embraced to describe their ideology. He was banned from Twitter after his followers attacked actor Leslie Jones with racist abuse.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Protests have been erupting in cities around the United States in the days since Donald Trump was elected president. Hundreds of students at the University of New Mexico staged a walkout Wednesday evening.  

During this year’s campaign cycle, voters learned of sexual assault allegations against Republican Donald Trump and heard a years-old recording of him bragging about assaulting women.  KUNM sat down with Jim Harvey, the new executive director at the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico, to talk about how Trump’s election impacts their work. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

After the election, the University of New Mexico’s president issued a message acknowledging that students are feeling unsafe and urging people to respect each other. But hundreds of faculty members, students and even administrators are saying that’s not enough. 

Marisa Demarco/KUNM

U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham won a decisive victory last night, but she’s got a hard road ahead of her as a Democrat in the Republican-controlled Congress. 

Marisa Demarco/KUNM

At the Democratic headquarters last night in Albuquerque, the final election results rolled in and Hillary Clinton’s victory failed to materialize.

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.

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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.

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