Indicted ex-Las Cruces judge allowed to keep defense lawyer

Posted at: 01/02/2013 10:33 AM
By: The Associated Press

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A former Las Cruces judge awaiting trial in a bribery case can keep a defense lawyer who is married to a prospective prosecution witness.

The Albuquerque Journal  reports that 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.

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