ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Prosecutors and the defense for a former Bernalillo County sergeant are preparing to head to trial next week. Wednesday, they were arguing over what will and will not be heard in the trial.
David Priemazon is accused of kicking a suspect in the head while deputies had already cuffed him. “This case is about whether or not this man kicked another man in his head. That’s all this case is about,” said Sam Bregman.
Fighting words from the man defending David Priemazon, with Bregman arguing the case against his client is not about his abilities as a cop. “This is much more straight forward. This is, did he kick him in the head?” Bregman said.
Bregman and prosecutors argued over what can and cannot be heard during the trial for Priemazon. The former sergeant is facing aggravated battery charges for an arrest last year when Christopher Lucero fled from deputies.
While in cuffs, other deputies came forward saying Priemazon unnecessarily kicked Lucero in the head, breaking his left eye socket and leaving him with permanent damage. “We have to show he acted outside the scope of his lawful duties as a police officer,” said prosecutor Nora Wilson.
Prosecutors want their expert witness to testify on what is and is not lawful as a police officer when it comes to use-of-force. “So, what we have with Mr. Montgomery is an expert that can educate a layperson jury on where the line of force begins and ends,” Wilson said.
The judge wanted to talk that out. “And if the state wants to prove that an officer, in making contact with someone, has committed a crime, they essentially have to show that this is unlawful,” said Judge Daniel Gallegos.
Another big argument was over whether or not the defense could mention the allegations stemmed from conspiracy and misconduct within BCSO and Sheriff Manny Gonzales.
“The reality is, the defense has a right to make a defense, that the issues being brought up do directly to any sort of motive to fabricate on a part of the witnesses,” said Judge Gallegos.
The judge has yet to make a decision on the state’s expert witness, who again would testify what officers can and cannot do. He’s expected to make that ruling on Friday.
Priemazon’s trial is set to begin next Tuesday. He is suing the county, saying he was targeted and treated differently than other deputies. The suspect in the case is suing the county for abuse of force.