Las Cruces – There have been five murders in the Las Cruces area so far this year, and none of the cases are ready for trial.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/qpqkH8) that Judge Fernando Macias, one of the only three judges who primarily take criminal cases, said there are just too many cases for too few prosecutors, defense attorneys, and support staff.
The Dona Ana County courts have been confronting the overload for years as state budgets have shrunk staffs at the district attorney's and public defender's office. But since April, it's been especially difficult because Judge Michael Murphy is off the bench pending a bribery investigation and Judge Jim T. Martin has been assigned away from criminal cases because he is a witness in the Murphy case.
Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.