Teen charged in fatal DWI crash arrested days earlier for similar incident

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A teenager charged in a deadly DWI crash in Albuquerque over the weekend was arrested in a similar incident just four days earlier. Casino Salazar, 19, was arrested in Roswell for driving drunk, causing a crash, and fleeing the scene.

He was released from jail on several conditions. “Certainly pretrial services in Chaves County are very limited. And the judge appeared, based on the pleading filed, to have just set standard conditions that told him not to consume alcohol, not to drive, avoid contact with witnesses, and a few other things,” said Dianna Luce, Chaves County Fifth Judicial District Attorney.

However, authorities say Salazar ignored almost all of those conditions and ended up in Albuquerque. According to court records, he was speeding and swerving down Montgomery Saturday night when he ran a red light as a car was turning onto Morris, hitting that car and killing the driver, Kevin Barton.

Police say they found liquor bottles, guns, and marijuana inside Salazar’s car. There has been a lot of debate over pretrial detention with people pointing fingers at the judges and court system. “People have to be responsible for their own actions. When someone is charged in a case and has conditions of release and doesn’t comply with them, the responsibility lies with them,” says Luce. 

Luce says she’d like to see a statewide pretrial services program instead of county by county which is how it’s handled now. She says that would provide more consistency and hopes that it’s addressed in the legislature.

Saturday’s case has not been scheduled for a felony first appearance yet. Once that happens, the Bernalillo County District Attorney will decide whether to file a pre-trial detention motion against Salazar.

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