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Former deputy accused of killing partner will stand trial a 3rd time

Tai Chan on the stand in court on Friday, May 19, 2017. (Credit: KRQE) Chan is accused of shooting and killing fellow deputy Jeremy Martin at Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces in October 2014.

The family of a Santa Fe County deputy wants a third trial for the man accused of killing deputy Jeremy Martin.

Ex-Santa Fe County Deputy Tai Chan is accused of gunning down Martin, 29, at Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces in 2014.

Chan was charged with first-degree murder in the October 2014 death of Martin.

Juries in the two previous trials failed to reach unanimous verdicts and mistrials were declared, most recently on May 23.

The Martin family released the following statement:

We are hopeful we will get a guilty verdict in the retrial of Tai Chan for shooting Jeremy in the back while he ran for his life. Tai’s testimony at the last trial included his admission to shooting Jeremy in the back while he ran, knowing Jeremy was not armed. And the new physical evidence presented at the trial makes what happened that evening a lot more clear. We are hopeful a new pool of jurors will invest the time and energy required and not give up after only a couple of hours. Jeremy deserves justice and Tai ought not to be free to kill again — and of course, the people of New Mexico deserve clarity on when it is appropriate for a highly trained cop to kill an unarmed man. As for the venue, because of the amount of false and misleading statements made by the defense to the media, we have not felt that Jeremy could get justice in Las Cruces. However, we ultimately trust the leadership of the district attorney, and we are grateful for their work and dedication in fighting for Jeremy, his family, and the citizens of their community.


James Martin, the brother of Jeremy, spoke with KFOX14 on Tuesday. KFOX14 asked Martin if the family was afraid the third trial would end up with the same result.

"We are nervous and the at the same time we're not," Martin said. "Even Rocky was knocked down a few times and came back for the win. We feel like we have justice on our side. I believe the citizens of the community in New Mexico deserve an answer whether you can shoot someone as they run. I don't think the jurors understand the precedent that is set."

State prosecutors announced Tuesday that they intend to retry Tai Chan on murder charges.

The statement was released after Martin’s family released its statement.

After consulting extensively with the family of Deputy Jeremy Martin, we have decided to pursue a third trial in the case against Mr. Chan,” D’Antonio said. “We feel this is what justice demands for Deputy Martin and the family he left behind. While there are a few important matters that still must be addressed, we are fully committed to moving forward with this case.

KFOX14 also spoke with Chan's attorney, John Day, on the decision.

"We are ready for the third trial," Day said. "Chan acted in self defense, and in two trials half of the jury agreed."

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