September 26 Morning Rush: Mayor Keller blames bias for thousands of untested rape kits

Mornings

1. Albuquerque Police are working on a new task this morning. Testing rape kits that the mayor says have never been looked at. Mayor Tim Keller says while he was state auditor, he found more than 5,000 untested rape kits in New Mexico. Four thousand of those were from Albuquerque. He says many of the city’s untested kits are a result of police doubting the victims’ stories and is calling for the culture surrounding rape allegations to change. Mayor Keller hopes all the kits will be tested within the next year and a half.

Full story: Mayor: Doubting of victims left thousands of rape kits untested
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2. New hurdles in the Victoria Martens murder case for prosecutors. Jessica Kelley, one of the suspects in the case will not be able to testify against the only man charged for in the crime. For the second time in two weeks, Judge Charles Brown said no to her plea deal. Kelley tried to plead guilty to child abuse resulting in death, aggravated battery and tampering with evidence in 10-year-old Victoria’s death which carried a 49-year sentence. After judge brown rejected the deal, he argued Kelley couldn’t have foreseen an unknown man walking into the apartment and then strangling Victoria. Now, Kelley will not serve as a witness against her cousin Fabian Gonzales, whose trial is slated to begin October 15.

Full story: Judge denies Jessica Kelley’s plea deal for second time
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3. The big weather focus on Wednesday will be the temperatures as afternoon highs will be 15 to 35 degrees cooler than what was felt Tuesday.

Full story: Kristen’s Wednesday Morning Forecast

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4. Changes could be coming soon to use-of-force policies in the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department after an independent review of its policies. The Daigle Law Group gave 22 recommendations in the report on how the department’s policies could be more clear. Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins recommended taking a look at BCSO’s policies, after a recent spike in deputy-involved shootings, chases, and expensive lawsuit settlements. None of the recommendations suggested the use of body cameras.

Full story: BCSO reviewing recommendations on its use-of-force policies

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5. Groundbreaking for construction on a new a “river-walk” overlooking the Rio Grande is set to begin today in Bernalillo. According to developers, the river walk is being built with the intention of housing restaurants and retail establishments. Similar ideas in Albuquerque had been proposed under the Chavez and Berry administration, but were met with resistance. The developer says this project is being built on private property. The plan also includes development for water sports like rowing and canoeing.

Full story: River walk, lifestyle complex set to break ground in Bernalillo
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