FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 6, 2018
Contact: Matt Baca (505) 270-7148
Albuquerque, NM — Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that Second Judicial District Judge Stan Whitaker denied convicted murderer Jacob Duran’s request to set aside the judgment and sentence against him for the 1986 murder of Teofilia Gradi in her North Valley home. Duran asked the Court to set aside the judgment and sentence against him on the basis of new DNA testing of evidence used at trial. The Court was not persuaded and denied Duran’s request.
“As Attorney General, my number one priority is protecting New Mexican families from the most dangerous criminals, and my office works tirelessly from trial through the appellate process to ensure that these individuals remain behind bars” said Attorney General Balderas. “I am very pleased that the Court recognized the importance of finality in valid criminal convictions for the criminal justice system as a whole, especially for the victim’s family, and I want to recognize the strong work of my appellate specialists for their great work in this case.”
Duran attempted to have his 30 year old murder conviction overturned on the basis of a 2003 statute that allows for post-conviction DNA testing. While the Court granted Duran’s request to have four pieces of evidence tested, it found that the new DNA testing did not put into doubt the evidence tying Duran to the murder, so it denied his request to overturn his conviction.
A copy of the Court’s order is attached.