Former fire chief strikes plea deal, will likely avoid jail time

New Mexico
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A former Tucumcari fire chief accused of drugging and raping a city employee has taken a plea deal that will likely keep him out of prison. 

Back in 2017, a city employee claimed Shane Warner gave her medication to ease her nausea but it made her pass out. She claims Warner then raped her. 

Warner was charged with rape, but as part of a deal has pleaded no contest to assault, intent to commit a violent felony, and tampering with evidence, along with other charges. Prosecutors are asking for a suspended nine-year sentence. 

When asked why they weren’t pushing for jail time, they wouldn’t provide specifics but said in every case they must consider the strength of the evidence, impact a trial would have on a victim, and other alternatives to prison that make the community safer in the long run. 

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