ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A star high school wrestler caught another break in court Thursday although this one may be short-lived.
Earlier this year a District Court judge overruled the suspension of Nick Chavez, a wrestler at Rio Grande High School wrestler. That allowed him to wrestle in the state championship even though he faced a criminal charge after allegedly roughing up a classmate and taking his lunch money,
On Thursday Chavez appeared in Metropolitan Court but other key figures in the case didn't. The alleged victim didn't appear, and neither did the witnesses nor the Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy who filed the criminal charges.
The sheriff's department blames the absences on the players not receiving subpoenas to appear.
"It's my understanding there was a scheduling conflict," said Sgt. Aaron Williamson, a spokesperson for the sheriff's department. "Our deputy that had filed the charges was not aware that he was on the docket for today's courtroom, and so as a result did not show up."
KRQE New 13 contacted officials at Metro Court who said documentation there shows notices to appear were mailed out on March 7 to parties involved in the case.
Chavez was to face charges of larceny, battery and interference with the education process from the February incident where he allegedly slapped a classmate at lunch and stole some money from him.
Under Albuquerque Public Schools policies Chavez was suspended for bullying, but his parents hired a lawyer and got some politicians involved. A District Court judge the ruled APS should hold off on the suspension, which allowed Chavez to compete in the state tournament where he won the title in his weight class.
Despite what happened in court Thursday, Chavez is not off the hook.
"As soon as we found out the error, our deputy did go back over and immediately refile the charges," Williamson said. "So it will go back through the system, and it will be set up for another court date."
APS board member Marty Esquivel told News 13 district is still moving forward to reverse the judge's decision on the suspension so it doesn't set a dangerous precedent.
Chavez's attorney said the boy was only engaging in schoolyard horseplay that shouldn't warrant suspension let alone a criminal case.
Metro Court officials have not been able to confirm whether the deputy did refile the charges.
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