ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The family of Mary Hawkes, shot and killed by former Albuquerque Police officer Jeremy Dear in 2014, claims Dear planted the gun near Hawkes’ body and they’re trying to prove it.
It’s not as easy as a television crime show makes it out to be: that it takes little effort to get someone’s DNA and that it’s instantly known if it’s a perfect match. This is real life, and it’s much more complicated both legally and forensically.
It was a verbal sparring match in a Bernalillo County District Court courtroom Wednesday morning, as the attorneys argued over whether a judge should order Dear’s DNA be provided for forensic testing.
“There are all sorts of reasons to be suspicious about the origins of the gun,” Laura Schauer-Ives, attorney for the Hawkes family, said.
“It defies logic and this speculation simply can’t provide the reasonable possibility required to compel a DNA test,” Dear’s attorney David Roman said.
Back in 2014, when Hawkes, a suspected car thief, was shot and killed by Dear, a swab revealed a “mixed DNA profile of at least four individuals was detected” on the gun that was found near Hawkes’ body. The test was done by the Albuquerque Police Department’s crime lab.
The results were so complex, it couldn’t even be determined if Hawkes’ DNA was on the gun. However, the test did conclude that at least one of the four profiles detected was that of a man.
“This isn’t surprising, given the testimony that the gun was stolen from Mr. Gaddy who had recently purchased it from someone else,” Roman said. “The mere presence of male DNA on the gun doesn’t make it reasonably possible that it belongs to Mr. Dear.”
However, the attorney for Hawkes’ family says there’s a way to find out, if an outside forensic analyst can take a look at the gun.
“There is additional DNA testing that one could do that hasn’t been done to the gun, and if [the analyst] were able to successfully do that, getting a profile from Jeremy Dear could then be fruitful,” Schauer-Ives said.
Yet, Schauer-Ives and her fellow attorneys couldn’t say for certain that this additional testing would definitively confirm or exclude Dear as a match to DNA on the gun.
So, Judge Nan Nash said she wants to hear from the analyst herself, before making a decision. For now, she denied to the motion to compel Dear to provide his DNA but is willing to look at it again. A date for that hasn’t been set.
It’s unclear if the analyst will get the permission needed to get the gun, which is still locked up in APD’s evidence room.
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