Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Albuquerque repeat offender likely to catch another break

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – A career criminal and convicted killer who has caught break after break is once again being trusted by the courts and is likely to be released from custody in the coming weeks. In 1990, Martin Copeland was convicted of second-degree murder, in Tennessee. Since then he’s been arrested time after time in New Mexico.

You’ll remember Copeland from a story we did last year, when he was charged for breaking and entering. A woman came home, to find Copeland asleep in her bed. That case was dismissed. He was arrested three more times between August, and October for burglary. In October, Judge Stan Whitaker decided to keep him locked up until trial.

Copeland, however, was found incompetent to stand trial. Today, he was back in court. The state argued he was too dangerous to be released, asking that same judge to send him to the state psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas, where he’ll be held and treated. Judge Whitaker did not grant that motion, telling the state they didn’t prove that Copeland was going to commit a crime that would inflict great bodily harm.

Copeland isn’t being let go just yet, he’ll be held for seven days while the prosecutor petitions to have him committed by the state. The prosecutor admitted during the hearing that it’s unlikely the state will agree to a civil commitment. If the Department of Health doesn’t agree to a civil commitment, the case will be dismissed.

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