SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — After being delayed more than a year because of possible COVID-19 exposure, a murder trial for an Ojo Caliente man is slated to begin this week. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that jury selection was underway Monday for the trial of 25-year-old Mark Hice, who faces first-degree murder and other charges.
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- Prosecutors: Murder suspect pens apology letter to family
- Prosecutors find evidence against man accused of killing teen in case of mistaken identity
Hice was about to go on trial in July 2020 when his defense attorney disclosed she was exposed to COVID-19 patients 11 days earlier while working as a midwife.
The judge declared a mistrial. Defense attorney Sheri Raphaelson said at the time the judge found her in contempt of court and accused the defense attorney of endangering jurors and other participants. Raphaelson said she had worn complete protective gear as a midwife.
Hice is accused of arming himself and some friends, including teenagers, in October 2018 because another man was threatening to kill him over social media. The group then drove around and Hice fired on a car on N.M. 68 north of Española because of a perceived threat.
Prosecutors say it was a case of mistaken identity. Hice ended up killing 18-year-old Cameron Martinez and wounding three others.