Family of man killed by suspected drunk driver still seeking justice

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of a man killed by a suspected drunk driver on Christmas Eve, is still waiting for justice nearly two years later. They say they feel like they’re slipping through the cracks of a broken system.

Christmas Eve 2018 is the last time Yvette Chavez Pena saw her big brother, he was killed on his way home from her party. The man charged with his murder is still on the streets.

Chavez Pena remembers her big brother, Kelly Chavez, as the life of the party. “Kelly was the crazy one, the funny one. He loved people,” said Chavez Pena, remembering her brother. She no longer gets to laugh with him, on Christmas Eve 2018 he was killed by a suspected drunk driver.

Kelly was only a few blocks from home after leaving his sister’s Christmas party early. “He was worried about drunk drivers out there,” said Pena Chavez. Now, nearly two years later, Jordon Johnson, the man charged with her brother’s death, still has not gone to trial.

At his preliminary hearing, Johnson was released on his own recognizance, required to report to pretrial services. In July 2019, a bench warrant was issued for his failure to comply. Johnson’s trial was set for February but he’s still missing.

“I asked the DA, you know, where he’s at. Why don’t you go and try and arrest him since he already has a bench warrant?” said Chavez Pena. The District Attorney’s Office says Johnson would have to be picked up during a traffic stop, another incident, or a warrant roundup.

KRQE News 13 asked the DA’s Office if they choose who gets listed on the warrant round up’s, conducted by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, they say it’s up to the law enforcement agencies who they put on those lists.

Johnson is charged with vehicular homicide, and driving with a revoked license. His license had been revoked as a result of a previous DWI.

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