MDC inmates argue to be released citing coronavirus concerns

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A number of Metropolitan Detention Center inmates argued in court Tuesday that they should be let out of jail to escape the pandemic.

Tuesday, it was all done through video conference in court. A man accused of murder was one of the inmates arguing his case. This hearing comes just a day after MDC announced one of its inmates tested positive for COVID-19.

Donald Duquette is charged with first-degree murder, accused of randomly shooting another driver on the Big-I in July 2019. Tuesday through video conference Duquette and his attorney appeared before Judge Brett Loveless to ask if he could be released because he’s concerned about catching and spreading the virus.

However, Judge Loveless wasn’t buying it. ” The court will deny the defendant’s motion to reconsider pre-trial detention,” said Loveless.

Tuesday’s hearing was held in an empty courtroom with only the judge and a handful of court personnel. The defendants, defense attorneys and prosecutors all spoke with the judge through a video call to help minimize and prevent the coronavirus.

The DA’s office says they are currently working with defense attorneys to see which non-violent inmates with pre-existing health issues can be released on pre-trial services.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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