Trial begins for carjacking suspect shot by Albuquerque police


A suspected carjacker who police say terrorized people before police shot him and an innocent woman will learn his fate soon. 

His attorneys tried to tell the jury that what he did wasn’t that bad. 

Lee Brandenburg quietly sat and listened to prosecutors and witnesses tell the jury that he was a threat to police and the community last February. 

“There’s one person responsible for the events that happened on Feb. 10, 201, the defendant, Lee Brandenburg,” prosecutor Natalie Strub said. 

Albuquerque Police say Brandenburg was wanted for missing a court hearing on burglary charges. A bondsman tried to pay him a visit at a hotel near San Antonio and I-25, but police say he pointed a gun at the bondsman and then ran away. 

Police say he tried to carjack a man but failed. He then tried to steal a woman’s SUV in the parking lot of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Building.

Police say at that point, Brandenburg pointed a gun at officers. Police then opened fire on Brandenburg, hitting him in the leg, and shot the carjacking victim in the knee. 

In court Monday, Brandenburg’s attorney argued the gun he had wasn’t a real gun, and was harmless. 

“The state is accusing him of crimes that he cannot have committed,” his attorney said. 

The bondsman took the witness stand and told jurors he feared for his life when Brandenburg pointed the gun at him. 

This isn’t the first time Brandenburg has been in trouble with the law. Back in 2016, he was charged with aggravated battery when he broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home. Her father then shot Brandenburg in the leg. The father wasn’t charged in that case. 

If Brandenburg is convicted, he will face a long sentence for a list of charges including armed robbery. 

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