Tai Chan takes stand in retrial

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The ex-Santa Fe County deputy accused of shooting and killing fellow deputy Jeremy Martin took the stand on Friday in Las Cruces. 

 

Similar to his testimony in his first trial, Tai Chan said he shot Martin in self-defense. 

 

The incident happened in Oct. 2014 at the Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces. 

 

Prosecutors charged Chan with first-degree murder for shooting Martin in the back five times. 

 

However, his first trial ended with in a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision. 

 

All jurors thought he was guilty but they couldn't decide if he should be convicted of first-degree murder or a lesser included offense. 

 

On Friday, Chan's attorneys called several people to testify including Las Cruces police detective Irma Palos and Chan's wife. 

 

When asked about his use-of-force training, Chan said "If someone has a gun and they're not compliant, lethal force is authorized."

 

He added, "The use-of-force model is one of the first things we learn."

 

Chan also said Martin kicked him and made confusing comments.

 

"The way he was acting in the room was odd," said Chan. "He said I was going to shoot you."

 

Chan told the jury opened fire in self-defense. 

 

"I remember him running away and that's when I stopped," he said. 

 

During cross-examination, District Attorney Mark D'Antonio asked Chan, "Is it true you shot Martin in the back?"

 

Chan replied, "Yes."

 

D'Antonio asked, "Isn't it true your intention was to kill Martin that night?"

 

Chan said "I was trying to keep him from killing me."

 

D'Antonio also commented on Chan's training and asked about the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office use-of-force policy. 

 

When asked, "Were you ever trained to intentionally shoot a fleeing suspect in the back?"

 

Chan replied, "No."

 

Chan's trial will resume Tuesday morning when prosecutors and the defense will present their closing arguments before the jury begins its deliberation. 

 

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