NM Court Swears-In 1st Native American GOP Judge

New Mexico – ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRWG) The first Native American Republican judge has joined the New Mexico District Court.

Judge Samuel Winder was officially sworn in last week two months after Gov. Susana Martinez appointed him to fill the vacancy on the 2nd Judicial District Court created by the retirement of criminal Judge Albert "Pat" Murdoch.

The 49-year-old -born Winder is a member of the Southern Ute tribe and a former federal prosecutor who served twice at the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Mexico.

Winder says he was raised in Albuquerque and in southern Colorado.

Murdoch was arrested in July after a prostitute alleged he raped her. He denied any wrongdoing but retired shortly after his arrest. Since then, the charges have been dropped while the Santa Fe District Attorney investigates the case.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. KRWG