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Perez’ Rifle Ruled Inadmissible In Court

Adolphe Pierre Louise / Albuquerque Journal
Det. Geoffrey Stone, who led the internal investigation into James Boyd's shooting, explains which parts of a rifle can be changed out

A judge ruled Wednesday, Sept. 21, that the rifle Dominique Perez used to shoot James Boyd can’t be admitted as evidence in the trial of two police officers facing second-degree murder charges.

The rifle wasn’t treated the way a potential murder weapon typically would be. It wasn’t locked away until the trial. Instead, it was returned to Perez after he killed Boyd, and in the two years since, it went back in circulation among police. Here’s prosecutor Randi McGinn questioning APD Det. Geoffrey Stone to highlight that difference.

MCGINN: Where would the gun have been kept from the time of the shooting until the trial

STONE: Evidence hold.

MCGINN: Can you explain to the court why it was that these weapons were returned to these officers?

STONE: That was the standard practice for the department.

MCGINN: In a police shooting case?

STONE: That’s correct.

MCGINN: Regardless of whether charges ultimately got filed against those officers?

STONE: That’s correct.

The judge did allow the red-dot scope that had been attached to the rifle into the trial. McGinn said she intends to use it to show what Perez could see in the moments before Boyd’s death.

Stone, who led APD’s internal investigation into the shooting, also testified that Boyd had been living at that spot in the Sandia foothills for at least 30 days with another person, who hasn’t been found. That person was in photos taken by the same neighbor who eventually called the police on Boyd. 

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.