ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Monday morning in the murder trial for two former Albuquerque Police Department officers, jurors heard for themselves the controversial comments one of those officers made in the hours before he shot James Boyd. Monday began week two of the trial.
The day of the shooting James Boyd asked to talk with State Police.
“What do they got you guys doing here… Who asked for State Police? For this f****n’ lunatic? I’m going to shoot him with a taser shotgun in a second,” said Keith Sandy.
It was what Keith Sandy told a State Police officer, captured on dash cam, that the prosecution says showed Sandy was thinking of shooting Boyd before he even joined the standoff. Sandy was heard calling Boyd a name and telling another officer he planned on using force.
Prosecutors have said Sandy escalated the situation himself that day and Boyd was shot when he was turning around to surrender.
The defense claims Sandy and former officer Dominique Perez shot and killed Boyd to protect a fellow K-9 officer who got too close to the homeless camper that was holding two pocket knives.
The defense also argued on Monday that Sandy and the State Police officers were long-time friends, just making locker room jokes on the dash cam video.
“He never told you he was going to shoot Mr. Boyd with a rifle,” asked the defense. “No,” replied the officer.
The prosecution’s expert in crime scene reconstruction took the stand. He described which bullets hit Boyd and where, how his body was positioned at the time.
However, the defense quickly pointed out that the expert had testified differently at Perez and Sandy’s preliminary hearing a year ago. The expert witness admitted he was wrong last year about two of the six bullets and where they landed.
The defense also asked APD Det. Nathan Render, another witness called to the stand on Monday, to open an evidence bag and show the jury one of the two pocket knives that James Boyd was holding before Officers Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy shot and killed him.
“Mr. Boyd was holding both knives blades up, arms out to the side,” Det. Render testified.
He estimated the blades to be about 3.5 inches long.
In addition, the prosecution brought a forensic pathologist to take the stand. Dr. Sam Andrews described James Boyd’s gunshot wounds. He told the jury it was a combination of all the bullets that hit the homeless camper that ultimately killed him.
The forensic pathologist said James Boyd lost so much blood, all the shots contributed to his death.
He did say some shots were more devastating than others, like one gunshot wound in the arm fired by Sandy and then one gunshot wound in the back, fired by Dominique Perez.
Sandy’s defense fired back saying at Perez and Sandy’s hearing a year ago, the pathologist testified that Perez’s shot was the only fatal one, now he’s saying all of them.
The pathologist told the defense he reassessed his opinion since last year. When the defense asked if someone pressured him to change his answer, he said no.
The prosecution fired back, saying the defense took Dr. Andrews’ comments out of context, and his testimony had in fact been consistent.
The prosecution said it plans to wrap up its case by noon Tuesday despite listing three more witnesses scheduled to testify. Then, the defense could have dozens of witnesses taking the stand, including Sandy and Perez.
Sandy and Perez face manslaughter and second-degree murder charges.