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New Mexico Telegram » Albuquerque Elections, Courts, Featured » Dinelli wants grand jury to examine Han death investigation

Dinelli wants grand jury to examine Han death investigation

Pete Dinelli speaking at a press conference at Civic Plaza.

Pete Dinelli speaking at a press conference at Civic Plaza.

In a press conference on Civic Plaza, Albuquerque mayoral candidate Pete Dinelli called on the Attorney General to convene a special grand jury to look at the investigation into the death of Mary Han.

Dinelli said that special grand jury and a special prosecutor is “the only way we’ll get down to what happened.”

“We need to get to the bottom of this and we need justice for Mary Han,” he said.

Dinelli listed problems that were found in the Attorney General’s report where Attorney General Gary King said the death should not have been ruled a suicide so quickly and that improper collection of evidence and many more people being at the scene than were necessary, including some civilians.

Dinelli repeatedly mentioned the presence of current Albuquerque Police Department Interim Chief Allen Banks, then a Deputy Chief, Public Safety PIO TJ Wilhelm and then-city attorney Rob Perry (now Chief Administrative Officer) at the scene and questioned why they were on the scene.

Dinelli called on Berry to suspend them from their current positions pending the investigation.

King, for his part, has said that his office did not anticipate any criminal charges in the investigation.

In the Albuquerque Journal:

King said later in a telephone interview that he didn’t anticipate any criminal charges against the current and former APD, and city of Albuquerque brass his office excoriated in its news release.

“There’s nothing in what we looked at that would lead to a criminal action at this time,” King said. “But it seems to us that there’s more there, and I am hopeful that someone will come forward with additional information. In that case, we would obviously continue our investigation.”

Dinelli said the buck ultimately stopped with the mayor and that if he had wanted, he could have ordered Banks and Darren White off the property while the investigation was going on.

Dinelli said the mayor was notified of what was going on, but wanted to know what Berry was told and if he was sent photographs of the scene.

Rosario Vega-Lynn, Attorney for the Han estate, was also at the press conference.

She said that in light of the report by King, the family wanted to see the death certificate changed to reflect that the death may have not been a suicide. She also expressed her gratitude to King for his report.

Former Albuquerque Police Sergeant Thomas Grover, who was at the scene, said that the secene was “so contrived and staged evena rookie cop could see it wasn’t a suicide or accident.”

Grover is mentioned in the lawsuit as reaching into the car and attempting “to take a bag of items located in the passenger side of the vehicle.” The lawsuit says this failed to preserve the scene.

Grover has been described as a close friend of Han and he reportedly quit the Albuquerque Police Department over the handling of her case.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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