Man accused of 20 felonies gets case dismissed

Last month, 22-year-old Stephen Vazquez was arrested for a citywide crime spree

(CNN) – There’s been a bunch of court deadlines that have forced dozens of cases to be dismissed in New Mexico. Those deadlines could mean that a man who committed 20 felonies in one day may be off the hook.

Last month, 22-year-old Stephen Vazquez was arrested for a citywide crime spree. Police say he carjacked several people, including his own mother, before attacking employees with a knife at a northeast Albuquerque restaurant.

“He said, ‘Give me a key, give me a key.'”

Vazquez was arrested and charged with 20 felonies, but now, those charges have been dismissed.

The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office explains why: “This is a very complex case and it involves five separate episodes, a lot of witnesses and a lot of evidence.”

As Target 7 has reported, there’s new rules over district court that’s designed to get cases to trial more quickly. The DA’s office now has a very short window, ten days, to turn over all of its evidence.

So far officials at district court tell us more than 100 cases have been dismissed.

District attorney Kari Brandenburg says Albuquerque Police did their best to get her office what they needed.

“They really went above and beyond to try to get us all the information.”

Brandenburg said she expected to have to dismiss the case because there was so much evidence to compile, but her office did have a plan.

“When we did that, we did that with the understanding that he’s got significant bonds in other cases, so we weren’t afraid that he’d be back on the streets.”

Vazquez is still in jail for other charges.

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