Updated: Wednesday, 26 Nov 2008, 9:31 PM MST
Published : Wednesday, 26 Nov 2008, 9:31 PM MST
SANTA FE (KRQE) - A member of the governor's security detail was in the passenger seat when a politically connected and possibly drunk lawyer left an injured pedestrian to die on a Santa Fe street, police are reporting.
William Tenorio, 46, died several hours after being struck on Guadalupe Street as patrons were leaving a downtown blues club early Wednesday morning.
Carlos William Fierro, 36, appeared to be drunk when police stopped his BMW about a mile from the scene, according to Santa Fe police. He was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.
A test of blood drawn from him will determine whether or not there was alcohol in his system and how much.
Fierro, named the 2007 Young Lawyer of the Year by the New Mexico Bar Association, ran for the Democratic nomination for the state Public Regulation Commission in 2004. He also served as legal counsel to Rep. Tom Udall, D-N. M., in Washington.
Police identified Fierro's passenger as New Mexico State Police Sgt. Alfred Lovato, a 17-year veteran of the department who is assigned to Gov. Bill Richardson's security detail.
Lovato was not charged although he could be as the case develops. He's currently on paid administrative leave from the State Police and could also face department discipline depending what an internal investigation turns up.
Police spent the entire day combing over the BMW which was damaged in the collision. The impact shattered the windshield on the passenger side of the car.
"(Tenorio) actually rolled up on top of the car and then rolled off to the side of the vehicle," Santa Fe Deputy Police Chief Aric Wheeler told KRQE News 13.
Events unfolded outside WilLee's Blue's Club as the bar was closing about 2 a.m. There were a lot of people on the street, and witnesses said they saw the BMW coming south on Guadalupe when it struck Tenorio.
But witnesses also heard something odd. They told investigators the BMW already had two flat tires making a thumping noise as the car came around the corner just before the impact.
"What else did they strike that we're not aware of?" Wheeler said. "What tracks did they leave us leading from wherever they came from up until the accident scene?"
Santa Fe police stopped the BMW on Marcy Street about a mile northeast of the scene.
A lot of questions remain unanswered including the biggest one: Why did the two men, one an experienced law officer, apparently leave the scene in contradiction of the officer's training?
State Police Chief Faron Segotta told News 13 he's disappointed by his officer's reported behavior.
"Although he was not the driver it doesn't really excuse his actions or lack thereof," Segotta said.
Segotta also released a statement expressing the department's condolences to the Tenorio family.