Chad Redhouse, Navajo, has been sitting in the county jail for more than 120 days, without having been tried, on domestic violence charges. When you bring up domestic violence in the context of the Santa Fe Courts, there are real instances of battered and abused; eyes and cheeks bloodied; concussion that make the ears ring and the tingling continues ; and broken bones that take weeks to heal, if ever, you get the idea of the imperative for prosecution.. Every person deserves protection from violence.
But the case of Chad Redhouse is nothing like that. It is more a system of good intent and purpose, but acts to being counter-productive. It is a cookie cutter assemblage of downward spiral answers (anger management, detox treatment, and Inquisitor style trials) all posited in a totally hypothetic context by so-called “public defenders,” who are so ineffective that after 4 months, Chad Redhouse dismissed them and is trying to be his own lawyer. This rather than accept a public defender system that acts as a Judas goat, leading a long procession of defective legal assistance, then covering it up with uncertified entries in the state's logging system. The ostensible victim, Brett, his wife whom he married after an ill-considered 5 day alcohol-laden courtship, has permanently moved to Florida. Her daddy is really rich, even owns part of the Isotopes. Maybe that is part of why the Courts have been so tough on Chad, even denying him the right to see the evidence against him.
The system in these courts in Santa Fe isn’t about the ideals of defense for the accused, or the individual rights which are secured by the nation's Constitution and the State's Bill of Right. Theirs is geared for the major majority of charged. If you do the crime, do the time. Plea it out and be done with it. That works for most, but Chad declines to plead guilty to any of the charges, or to accept one of those plea bargains “because it wasn’t that way ”.
When the arrest of Chad Redhouse began, so did a Constitutional clock begin ticking. Under Rule 5-401 A, the court MUST order the release of any person who is entitled to bail under Article II, Section §13 of the New Mexico Constitution, either on personal recognizance or upon execution of an unsecured appearance bond, unless the Court determines that such release will not reasonably assure the appearance of the accused or "will endanger the safety of any other person or the community." If the court makes such a determination, the rule permits the court to impose such conditions as "will reasonably assure the safety of any person and the community." The New Mexico Constitution guarantees a defendant's right to be released on bond pending trial. N.M. Constitution, Article II, §13. The court may only deny bail in non-capital cases for up to sixty days after the defendant's incarceration, by an order entered within seven days of incarceration, and only in specified cases where the defendant, who is accused of a felony, has been previously convicted of felonies.
Specifically, if the defendant has been previously convicted of two or more felonies committed within New Mexico, neither of which arose from the same or a common transaction with the case for which the defendant is now before the court, the court may deny bail for sixty days.
But rather than go to that extent of what it MUST do, the Magistrate Courts organize a deception of itself, rerouting arraignments on the same charges, and then again, and then again. Never giving a thought to the meaning of liberty or the Constitutional requirements of the State.
And how does Chad Redhouse deal with this? To save his soul and to preserve his sanity at the depths of this Kafkaesque nightmare, he files motions. The motions are denied. He filed one last week, asking that the charges be dismissed because he hadn’t been arraigned for 110 days after his arrest, and the New Mexico Statutes say it must be done within 30 days. Judge David Segura denies the motion, and then arraigns him, as if the statutes somehow don't apply, how many days late? 110-30=80 days late. It seemed another example of surreal justice under a guise of law.
Then there are the questions of double docketing and triple docketing, filing the same charges in 3 different courtrooms with three different judges. And keeping him in longer because they have never been consolidated—or were they as the NM Courts website reports two orders to consolidate and then a reconsideration to deny consolidation.
In all twelve charges in 4 cases brought before 3 Judges based on two events.
There are constitutional limits to what the Court can and cannot do. Filing another motion, they will call Chad into question, as if motions, records and rule of law don't matter. The D.A.’s office apparatchiks will keep offering a plea agreement, including anger management--not realizing that plenty of anger management comes in filing motions, and that 120 days in jail removes anyone from alcohol. They'll try to coerce a plea, and call it an informed decision; but I dare say he won't sign.
Meanwhile, the real batterers and abusers seem to get away and keep doing it, while Chad Redhouse, Navajo, sits and waits for Justice, and Justice may never come, in this on-going nightmare of failed jurisprudence.