Courtroom Education Can Be Expensive

ALBUQUERQUE  – Four charges, including a DWI, against an Albuquerque man have been dropped thanks to two Assistant District Attorneys who reportedly didn’t play fair. How’s that? They were giving a witness advice from the audience.

On Sept. 27, 2014, Ronald Cordova was pulled over near Amherst and Gibson after police say he was speeding and blew higher than a .08 into an “Intoxilyzer” blood-alcohol content measurement device.

That’s one of four charges he racked up: DWI, speeding, open container and no insurance.

But those charges have since been dismissed and it’s not because of a verdict.

During Cordova’s bench trial in April, as the prosecutor questioned Albuquerque Police Officer Louis Henckel, Defense Attorney Roman Romero says he noticed Henckel staring beyond the prosecutor.

“When I turned and looked, I saw two beginner prosecutors seated in the gallery that were making affirmative movements, shaking their head up and down,” Romero told KRQE News 13.

The two men were Asst. District Attorneys Tony Flores and James Plummer.

Romero believes they were helping Henckel answer questions about the “Intoxilyzer.”

Law requires that law enforcement testify from memory and not while being coached in the courtroom.

In this case, the State cheated and got caught. The price was a dismissal of all charges.