Deputies gave her a ride home instead of a DWI, but the officer won’t be working for State Police anymore.
KRQE News 13 has learned the State Police officer under investigation after a controversial drunk driving stop resigned as the department was moving to fire her.
State Police said Jessica Turner resigned on Wednesday, April 11, after being at the center of a DWI investigation that raised questions about whether she got special treatment and got out of an arrest.
Dash camera video from Otero County Sheriff’s deputies shows the night a DWI investigation near Alamogordo in February led them to Turner.
A report states she was passed out at the wheel in a truck that matched the description a 911 caller gave after a driver ran him off the road.
Deputies recognized Turner.
She was a State Police officer at the time and, before that, a deputy with their own department.
A report noted the truck’s engine was warm, and video shows Turner struggling to walk a straight line and keep her balance during field sobriety tests.
So, a deputy broke the news to her.
“Unfortunately, Ms. Turner, you’re being placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated…” he said.
“Okay, so, first of all, where have you found my keys in my vehicle?” Turner responded.
Turner debated with deputies after she was told she was under arrest and, instead of putting her in handcuffs, they gave her a ride home.
A report shows Otero County Sgt. Steve Odom decided there wasn’t probable cause because no one found Turner’s keys, although, in the video, deputies aren’t seen looking for them either.
Since then, State Police launched an internal affairs investigation and put Turner on paid leave.
Now, we’re learning Turner left while the department was moving to fire her.
State Police didn’t say what policies Turner violated, saying that’s a personnel matter.
The department could forward Turner’s case to the state’s Law Enforcement Academy to investigate whether Turner should keep her certification to be a law enforcement officer somewhere else in New Mexico.
The Otero County Sheriff’s Department is finishing up its own internal affairs investigation into its deputies, including Sgt. Odom, who made the call to let Turner go.
Odom is campaigning to be Otero County’s next sheriff.