ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A teen charged with murder at an Albuquerque park claims self-defense, but his attorneys say the Albuquerque Police Department lost the evidence needed to prove it. Noah Duran is accused of killing Elijah Mirabal at North Domingo Park in October 2020.

Witnesses claim Mirabal showed up at the park believing he was selling drugs to a girl but was instead met by Duran and 18-year-old Jaden Sandoval who robbed and shot him. Duran was also shot and claims Mirabal fired first, adding he shot back in self-defense.

Story continues below

His attorneys say bullet holes on Mirabal’s car would prove that case, however, APD didn’t preserve the car for evidence. During testimony on Tuesday, Nov. 23, a forensic scientist says the missing evidence is crucial.

“Do my own documentation of different positions the trajectories. As we said, there are approximately 17 directories or impacts identified. There may very well be others that I could find,” said forensic scientist Aaron Drudenell.

Duran’s attorney is asking a judge to drop the charges based on lost evidence. KRQE News 13 is waiting for a decision to be made.

The second teen in the case is still awaiting trial. His girlfriend reportedly told investigators he would often have her set up drug deals at the park and rob the victims.