Freedom New Mexico
The state’s case against Los Lunas fight promoter James Burleson — accused of killing Tucumcari’s Jason Pacheco on Feb. 1, 2007 — has been turned over to the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s office in Albuquerque.
The case was reassigned after Judge David Reeb of Clovis found a “possibility of the appearance of impropriety” existed, according to a press release from 10th District Attorney Ron Reeves.
Burleson’s attorney, Lee Deschamps, argued that Don Schutte — Tucumcari’s chief deputy district attorney when Pacheco died —had interjected his personal credibility by becoming a witness against the defendant in the case, according to court documents.
Schutte is now the 10th Judicial District judge.
Burleson, who has claimed self-defense in the shooting, faces a second-degree murder charge.
Burleson said in a February 2007 interview with the Quay County Sun that he shot Pacheco after the victim and four others jumped him on Main Street, near a gym where martial arts fighters were preparing to weigh in for a competition.
Burleson’s trial date has not been scheduled.