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Judge denies motion to move trial for man accused in Hatch officer’s death

Jesse Hanes is accused of shooting and killing Officer Jose Chavez during a traffic stop Aug. 12.

A judge denied a request to move the trial for a man accused of shooting and killing a Hatch police officer.

Lawyers for Jesse Hanes said there’s been too much media coverage about the case for Hanes to get a fair trial.

Hanes is accused of shooting and killing Officer Jose Chavez during a traffic stop Aug. 12.

Lawyers called a media expert from Albuquerque to take the stand. He said the stories about the case have painted a negative picture of Hanes in the community, and that it would be difficult to seat a jury, since most people may have already come to a conclusion about Hanes' guilt.

However, Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio argued the expert didn’t have data to support his testimony.

“I predicted the outcome would be a denial of the motion,” D’Antonio said. “Frankly, a murdered police officer is always going to get attention of the media -- rightfully so -- but it did not rise to the level making it unfair to pick a jury in Dona Ana County.”

The judge agreed with D’Antonio and Hanes’ trial is set for Sept. 25.

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