Judge dismisses manslaughter charge against Tai Chan


Tai Chan, a former Santa Fe County deputy, has now been tried twice for killing his fellow officer Jeremy Martin in 2014, inside Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces. 

As the District Attorney’s Office in Las Cruces was ready to take Chan to trial for the third time, now for manslaughter, today Judge Conrad Perea dismissed that charge. 

“In today’s order the judge said his office has messed up again, they made mistakes, they’re not doing this properly, so he dismissed it,” said John Day.  
Day is Tai Chan’s attorney and says because Judge Perea dismissed the charge without prejudice, the charges can be refilled. 

“I think if the DA chooses to re-file it’s just insane, this would be the 5th time that they’ve tried to prosecute a man for engaging in self-defense,” said Day. 

Today the family of Jeremy Martin, who Chan admitted shooting inside that hotel, released the following statement: 

We understand the latest dismissal was likely a law clerk error. The District Attorney gave us a heads up and is in the process of filing a response.

As for the case itself, 

Jeremy was shot in the hallway of a full hotel and every shot went into Jeremy’s back. He hunted Jeremy down, pursued him, shot ten rounds at him from behind.  That’s not self-defense that’s execution.  While Chan carried out this deliberate execution he carelessly endangered the lives many others. How could we not continue to pursue justice?

We fully expect charges to be filed again and appreciate the DA’s commitment to justice and our family. 

–Martin Family 

KRQE News 13 asked Day what he would say to people that think Chan is getting away with murder. He replied with the following: “I understand that, but these are people who may not have sat through the entire trial. Having that reaction is very normal it’s human and until you sit through the trial, that’s a reasonable thing to think.” 

Day went on to say if you saw all the evidence and heard all the testimony, you would realize what really happened. 

The District Attorney’s Office in Las Cruces released the following statement: 

“The state disagrees with the courts order and is filing a response and motion to reconsider the courts order purely on perceived procedural concerns.” -Mark D’Antonio, Third Judicial District Attorney’s office, Las Cruces

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