A New Mexico judge has ruled that two Albuquerque police officers must stand trial on murder charges in the fatal, on-duty shooting of a homeless man that sparked angry protest in Albuquerque and helped lead to reforms.
After a nearly two-week preliminary hearing, a judge said Tuesday there was probable cause for the murder case against Officer Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy to go to trial.
The charges were filed against the two officers in the killing of 38-year-old James Boyd, who authorities say had schizophrenia and was shot during a confrontation in which police accused him of camping illegally.
Video of the shooting showed Boyd appearing to surrender before Perez and Sandy opened fire. Defense lawyers say Boyd had threatened officers with two knives.
Seven police officers around the country have faced murder charges for on-duty incidents since 2010. One was convicted of manslaughter and assault after a second-degree murder count was dropped, The rest are still in court proceedings