ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The trial of a man accused of killing an Albuquerque couple in 2005 Albuquerque was finally set to start Thursday.
Now there could be another delay.
Ronald Santiago allegedly shot John and Bernadette Ohlemacher in their Paradise Hills home in because they discovered he stole from them.
The case has been tied up for years by challenges to the police search of Santiago's house. The latest snag is a polygraph test administered to the Ohlemachers' daughter.
"The court made a ruling that we felt was an inappropriate ruling, and we're just appealing that ruling," District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said during an afternoon news conference Tuesday.
Brandenburg filed a motion with the state Supreme Court appealing District Judge Kenneth Martinez's ruling last week.
Santiago's attorney was asking the judge to let them use a polygraph test given to Renee Ohlemacher conducted by the Albuquerque Police Department.
For the first year after the murders, police suspected Renee in the killings. She was the beneficiary of her parents' million-dollar life insurance policy.
The polygraph test was inconclusive, and Martinez is allowing it in the trial.
"We have rules of evidence," Brandenburg said. "All were asking is the court follow the rules of evidence."
Brandenburg is also asking in the motion that the trial be delayed until the state Supreme Court rules on the matter.
"Do we let an issue this big go by the way in order to get a speedy trial?" she said.
Brandenburg says she is still waiting to hear back on whether the Supreme Court will hear the motion.
"If the courts rule that it's admissible, we'll go forward, and we have ways of dealing with that," Brandenburg said.
Santiago's defense attorney says the inconclusiveness of the polygraph helps his case.
"This woman, who has claimed for eight years that she had nothing to do with the death of her parents, would have had no reason in the world not to pass this lie-detector test if she had nothing to do with it," attorney Joseph Riggs told KRQE News 13.
The Supreme Court will decide one of three things before Thursday:
- Put the trial on hold and have a hearing.
- Reverse judge Martinez's decision
- Deny the state's motion
A pool of people has been called for jury selection on Thursday if the case moves forward as currently scheduled.
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