The State Police officer who was texting teenage girls, and then arrested on federal drug dealing charges, could put a lot of cases in jeopardy.
“We look at any cases that he’s a witness at into any extent,” said Steven Murphy.
Late last month, New Mexico State Police Officer Daniel Capehart was arrested for drug distribution in San Juan County.
According to a criminal complaint, the 33-year old abused his position as a law enforcement officer by stealing drugs from arrests.
He would then give the drugs to women he was romantically or sexually interested in, which also included a 16-year old girl.
“Without him, basically they don’t have a case. Now his credibility is zero,” said Murphy.
Murphy is an attorney who’s working alongside the San Juan County District Attorney’s Office to review any open cases from Capehart’s time as a police officer. So far, his firm has about 20-cases to look over, while the DA’s office will look at almost 50 more.
“Mostly what his involvement is DWI, what we consider traffic stuff. Some of the DWIs resulted in felony arrests that he was the only witness to the case,” Murphy said.
In other words, Murphy believes all these cases with Capehart could be dismissed by the DA.
“I think the District Attorney will just look at them and say hey, you know, this is a bad guy, we have to assume he did bad things on all his cases,” said Murphy.
Murphy hopes people will take advantage of the break they could be getting.
“The good ones never come back, and if you lose a case with a bad one, they’ll be back next week,” he said.
Last week, the Chief Deputy DA told the Farmington Daily News that Capehart was the only witness in most of the cases they’re looking into. Because of that, they’re going to be hard to prosecute and they could end up being dismissed.
Capehart is now on paid suspension from State Police and in a halfway house in Albuquerque.