Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Prosecutor collects records of pre-trial release in high-profile case

Copyright © 2021

A showdown is brewing in the Albuquerque State District Court on whether, and under what restrictions, if any, records of a defendant’s investigation, including electronic surveillance reports, should be passed on to the prosecution.

A hearing is scheduled for Friday on a motion by the defense attorney for a high profile suspected serial burglar, Jesse Mascareno-Haidle, calling on state district judge Alissa Hart to overturn a subpoena for such Bernalillo district attorney’s records.

“It is a very comprehensive subpoena,” said Noah Walker Gelb, Mascareno-Haidle’s attorney. “This is not a common request, nor is it common for the prosecutor to look for the GPS data. So this is new territory. ”Gelb says his client has a“ legitimate interest in the privacy of the GPS data sets he is looking for ”.

District Attorney Raúl Torrez claims that the public has a right to know whether a defendant is complying with the pre-trial release conditions and how well the system works.

So far, the District Prejudicial Services Department has refused to release the cited documents and has hired a private attorney to help keep certain documents confidential.

A district court spokesman told the Journal this week that the court’s administrative arm, which has historically overseen the pre-trial services, has released records that are the subject of a subpoena, “only under a protection order historically agreed by the authorities and was established “. Involved. “

In these cases, the records are usually restricted in their use and then sealed.

Torrez says protection orders are too restrictive and can be interpreted in such a way that such information cannot be shared with law enforcement, used in testimony, or cited in response to questions.

“We are at a moment when we need to have access to these records as public records, and we don’t think there should be any limitation on how these records should be used,” Torrez said last week. Efforts by the district attorney in another case earlier this year to obtain records of pretrial services through a petition under the Public Record Inspection Act have been denied by the court’s pretrial services department. The prosecution has not filed a complaint about the denial.

Mascareno-Haidle was charged with two home break-ins, car theft, theft and theft in January, but police say he could be linked to up to 80 other break-ins.

The public prosecutor’s office asked in February to keep him in prison pending trial, but the request was denied.

He was released under investigative supervision and placed on GPS monitoring. In separate hearings, two state district judges agreed to his release and found that conditions existed that would adequately protect the safety of another person or community.

But the 19-year-old was arrested again on October 25 after students from Rio Grande High School told an officer that someone had broken into cars in the parking lot. He was charged this week with breaking into a vehicle, resisting or evading an officer, and stealing $ 250 or less on top of previous charges. This time Judge Britt Baca-Miller granted a motion to arrest him in jail pending trial.

The public prosecutor’s office issued a subpoena on October 27 demanding to the best of its knowledge all records of investigative service since Mascareno-Haidle’s release, including GPS logs, all map information and GPS monitoring data.

Court spokesman Sidney Hill stated that an initial pre-trial service report and all filings filed in court are public records, court spokesman Sidney Hill said: “It is the longstanding practice and policy of the 2nd File is confidential.

“In practice, the investigative authorities released records after a subpoena was only submitted as part of a protection order. That’s because investigative oversight records contain sensitive, proprietary information such as employment, location, substance abuse history, and medical or mental health information, ”Hill said.

“Until recently, the parties never denied the need for a protection order and in fact always agreed protection orders,” he said in a statement. “The Court recognizes that this is a matter of public concern and is therefore developing a written guideline in line with this longstanding practice.”

Yellow, who works for the prosecutor, told the Journal that the defense has a duty to “protect the rights of every customer from government abuse. The judge is now in a position to determine whether the state has made a sufficiently solid argument that it should have access to all or some of the very private information that the investigative authorities are collecting on their files. “

Torrez said last week that he had told his staff that “we will not negotiate protection orders in these cases”.

“In all fairness there is an ongoing political debate about the overall effectiveness of all forms of pre-trial services, including GPS surveillance.”

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