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Neighbor Says James Boyd Was A Threat

Roberto Rosales / Albuquerque Journal
Alexander Thickstun on the stand on Thursday, Sept. 29

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday in the trial of two former Albuquerque officers, and now it’s the defense’s turn to present the events that led to the death of James Boyd, the homeless man killed by police in 2014. 

Alexander Thickstun’s property bordered the recreational area at the base of the Sandias where Boyd was staying. He was the first defense witness to take the stand. He told the court he called the non-emergency police line, and officers came out.

The defense asked him about his concerns as he stood on his balcony and heard Boyd threaten to kill officers. Thickstun was emotional on the stand and said his worst fears were realized. "It confirmed to me that he was dangerous," he said.

He'd been observing Boyd from his home for some time, and recorded video footage of much of the standoff that day. "I was getting pretty scared but my wife was terrified," he said.

Over the course of several hours, more police arrived on the scene, and eventually Boyd was shot and killed by Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy. They are facing second-degree murder charges.

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.
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