Man accused of beating Cibola High student with shovel released from jail

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man police said was hiding in plain sight for nine years after allegedly beating a Cibola High School student almost to death was released from jail Tuesday.

It’s a case that has a lot of people talking about the new rules to keep suspected criminals behind bars until trial.

KRQE News 13 was there when Justin Hansen was released from custody.

Hansen is accused of beating Brittani Marcell with a shovel and almost killing her in 2008.

On Tuesday he walked out of jail, more than a week after Judge Charles brown ruled he should be released. 

It takes about 100 steps from the door to the gate. During that time Hansen didn’t take his eyes off the sidewalk, wearing the same clothes he was arrested in.

Despite the charges Hansen is facing, a judge denied the state’s motion to keep him locked up until the trial, citing a lack of criminal history, and said Hansen is not a danger to the community.

Hansen was arrested after Albuquerque Police said they linked him to the brutal attack through DNA.

Hansen initially refused to take a DNA test, so police followed him and took a DNA sample from a McDonald’s cup he threw away.

As KRQE News 13 crews were waiting for Hansen’s release, a family member asked if he could be released from a side door because they saw news cameras there.

Jail employees said he must exit through the chain linked walkway, the way every other inmate is released unless they are transported downtown.

Now that Hansen has been released, he is required by the judge to wear a GPS monitor and is supposed to be supervised at all times by the family member he was released to.

The District Attorney’s Office plans to take his case to the grand jury this week.

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