New Mexico Deputy Charged with Murdering Fellow Deputy

Originally published on October 30, 2014, at

A Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Deputy has been charged with murder after gunning down his colleague at a hotel in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Deputy Jeremy Martin had been fleeing towards the elevator when Deputy Tai Chan shot him multiple times in the back and arm. Las Cruces Police officers found Martin in the hotel lobby and transported him to MountainView Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

After transporting a prisoner to a detention facility in Safford, Arizona, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputies Martin and Chan stopped in Las Cruces and booked room 711 at Hotel Encanto around 4pm on Monday. According to Chan’s friend, Joshua Sexauer, the off-duty deputies were already drinking when he picked them up from the hotel. They went to three different bars including Dublin’s Street Pub where the deputies got into a heated argument and the bartender had to physically separate them.

Sexauer left the bar and later received a phone call from Chan’s girlfriend, Leah Tafoya. At 12:31am, Tafoya asked Sexauer to check on Chan. She had just been on the phone with Chan when she heard someone yelling, “Please don’t, please don’t!”

Then she heard gunshots.

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