Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Judge rejects application for suspect’s records

Copyright © 2021

An Albuquerque state district judge on Friday denied a request from the 2nd district attorney’s office to obtain information about the court’s pretrial service, including GPS surveillance records, for a 19-year-old man incarcerated while on a burglary and trial Waiting for theft.

Jesse Mascareno-Haidle

Without deciding on the bigger question of whether such records are public, Judge Alisa Hart noted that the prosecutor’s request to review the data showing where Jesse Mascareno-Haidle stayed has been since its placement on a court order Knuckle monitor last February, not relevant, lawsuits pending on burglary, theft and other allegations.

That’s because Mascareno-Haidle’s detention conditions have already been lifted since he was arrested again on October 25 on new charges, Hart said. Earlier this week, state district judge Britt Baca-Miller also granted a prosecutor’s motion to keep him in jail for allegedly guilty of the new crime charge despite the highest degree of investigative oversight.

“I don’t think the state made the link to show how the criminal prosecution records are appropriate for the crimes charged,” Hart said.

In the ongoing debate over the work of the Investigative Department and its monitoring of the defendants in the process of overseeing the trial, prosecutors issued a subpoena on October 27 for the GPS data of Mascareno-Haidle, suspected of doing dozens of break-ins, in Albuquerque from autumn 2020.

District Attorney Raúl Torrez’s office alleged that the GPS records were necessary to prove the danger the defendant posed to the community and to show that he had violated his terms of release.

But Mascareno-Haidle’s defense lawyer requested that the subpoena be overturned for privacy reasons. And the administrative arm of the 2nd District Court lodged an objection and hired an external lawyer to draw up a protection order to prevent certain personal data from being passed on to the public prosecutor’s office.

“Really, these records are his. You are being held by investigative authorities, ”said the deputy public defender Noah Gelb to the judge.

Prosecutors had requested that Mascareno-Haidle’s custodial release be lifted after he allegedly broke into a Rio Grande High School student’s vehicle on October 25 while wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor. The public prosecutor said in a response to the defense’s request for revocation that he had already violated his terms of release last summer by entering a restricted zone in which his alleged accomplice in the burglary ring lived.

Assistant District Attorney James Grayson told the judge Friday that there may be other crimes Mascareno-Haidle has committed in the nine months he was on an ankle monitor.

“The state has the right to obtain information about any other violation it has committed,” said Grayson. “Part of the problem with GPS records, at least during his custody, is that they weren’t monitored daily to see where the defendant was.”

When Hart asked if the state had specific information about other crimes Mascareno-Haidle may have committed during that time, Grayson replied no. But he added that this is because law enforcement agencies didn’t have a chance to check the GPS data. Grayson said the records are also important to prosecutors if Mascareno-Haidle appeals his warrant.

Torrez claims the GPS records are public, but his office has so far had no success in obtaining such information by filing a request under the state’s Public Record Inspection Act. Grayson said his office is still considering whether to appeal the investigation service’s decision to withhold the information because it is confidential.

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