Sgt. Joe Harris of the Sandoval County Sheriff's Department was…
Updated: Wednesday, 23 Sep 2009, 12:37 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 23 Sep 2009, 12:22 PM MDT
BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) - Sandoval County Deputy Teresa Moriarty did nothing criminal during the shootout that killed Deputy Joe Harris and burglar Joseph Burgess, according to a decision released Wednesday by the Sandoval County District Attorney's Office.
Moriarty and Harris were conducting an undercover operation to try to catch Burgess, who then was known only as the Cookie Bandit and was wanted for burglarizing cabins in the Jemez Mountains.
Before arriving, according to a state police investigation, Moriarty mistakenly locked her police gear inside her camper, so Harris loaned her one of his guns.
Hours later, Burgess broke into the cabin where Moriarty and Harris were. After being taken into custody and handcuffed, the report said Burgess pulled a gun and started shooting, hitting Harris.
The report said Moriarty couldn't fire the weapon, so Harris grabbed it and shot and killed Burgess.
District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said Moriarty followed the law.
"We examine the laws of the state of New Mexico and look at the facts," he said. "If there are any facts that would support a violation of the law beyond a reasonable doubt, we will move on it. In this case, we found no violation of the law."
Sandoval County Sheriff John Paul Trujillo said an internal investigation was conducted on the actions Harris and Moriarty took that night to see if policies and procedure were followed. No violations were found.