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Defense Says U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico Withheld Evidence
By Fahima Haque | December 21, 2021 2:28 pm

Former Albuquerque police officer Brad Ahrensfield and his defense team are asking for a dismissal of his conviction on obstruction of justice charges based on new evidence shining negative light on the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Ahrensfield was found guilty last week of tipping off an employee at a friend’s auto shop that was under drug-related investigation focusing on another employee. Ahrensfield’s attorney said pertinent evidence that could have changed the guilty verdict was withheld. The evidence came in the form of FBI tapes containing interviews with a relevant witness from April. The defense team maintained they had no knowledge of such transcripts, even though they had been available since September.

The U.S. Attorney’s office issued a public statement arguing against dismissal and will file a report to the judge defending their reasoning. But the defense team is skeptical and deemed Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Neda as a “win at any costs prosecutor.”

“This is not the first time this prosecutor has [withheld evidence]. We found cases going back 10 years where she has done the same thing, and we’ve asked the judge to dismiss the case,” said defense attorney Jason Bowles.

The defense team submitted a 16-page brief further challenging the indictment and said it is adamant that the U.S. Attorney’s office knowingly committed a serious misstep to win the trial.

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