Spence Screws Up on DWI

Santa Fe New Mexican - District Attorney Angela "Spence" Pacheco of Santa Fe said Tuesday that "there is no excuse for it." A man whose own attorney once called him the "poster boy" for DWI problems in New Mexico seems to have slipped through the cracks once again. A state district judge on July 18 was forced to dismiss a felony DWI case filed against John Paul Chavez, 51, who has at least 11 drunken-driving arrests on his record and at least eight convictions. The reason for the dismissal? The District Attorney's Office failed for more than five months to have a prosecutor enter an appearance in the case or turn over evidence against Chavez to his latest defense lawyer. Chavez became notorious in 2002 when, in a self-described drunken blackout, he ran down Colorado tourists Michael and Helen "Elly" Cote as they crossed a street near the Plaza, dragging the woman under his truck for several blocks and leaving her in a six-week coma with physical and mental limitations that remain to this day. District Judge Michael Vigil sentenced Chavez to the maximum 8 1/2 years in prison for his guilty plea in that case. Read full story here: News New Mexico



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