Mom gets deal in chase where police fired at van of kids

AP News
Posted: Jul 07, 2015 2:56 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Tennessee woman has reached a plea deal after being charged with child abuse and fleeing from police during a chaotic 2013 traffic stop in which a New Mexico officer shot at her minivan full of children.

Prosecutors in the tourist town of Taos and an attorney for 40-year-old Oriana Farrell announced the agreement Monday. Details of the deal are expected next week, when her trial was scheduled to start.

Alan Maestas, lawyer for Farrell, said attorneys reached a resolution that is agreeable to both parties and takes into account their most significant concerns.

"I think it's about as close to justice as we can get in a human environment," Maestas said.

Dashboard video of the shooting gained national attention. It showed Officer Elias Montoya firing at the minivan as Farrell drove away from a traffic stop that included another officer bashing her van's window with his nightstick.

Farrell was traveling through New Mexico and had been stopped by state police for speeding. She fled twice after arguing with an officer.

Montoya fired three shots at the minivan, which also was carrying Ferrell's five children. No one was injured.

Montoya, who said he was aiming at a tire, was fired.

The dash-cam footage came at a time when police in Albuquerque — the state's largest city — were under fire for a high number of police shootings.

Albuquerque and the U.S. Department of Justice recently signed an agreement to overhaul the city's police force.

Farrell has said she was trying to protect her family when she sped away. Her plea deal ends a case that has spent months in New Mexico courts.