A former Las Cruces judge awaiting trial in a bribery case can keep a defense lawyer who is married to a prospective prosecution witness. Acting District Judge Leslie Smith refused to bar attorney Michael Stout from representing former Judge Michael Murphy even if District Judge-elect Marci Beyer is a prosecution witness.
The special prosecutor in the case wanted to have Stout removed as Murphy's attorney, saying Stout had a conflict.
Murphy has pleaded innocent to charges accusing him telling a judicial candidate she needed to pay a political activist for consideration for the post.
A report accompanying the indictment alleged that money would then be funneled to then- Gov. Bill Richardson, who has denied the allegations.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.