Instructors: Officers in killing appeared to follow training

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Posted: Aug 07, 2015 5:40 PM
Instructors: Officers in killing appeared to follow training

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two former New Mexico police instructors say it appears that a pair of officers charged with murder in the shooting of a homeless man followed standard training.

Instructors Robert Johnston and David Hubbard, both retired, testified Friday at a preliminary hearing about use of force training at the cadet academy.

Johnston and Hubbard were not present at the March 2014 shooting and drew their conclusions based on a scenario presented by defense attorneys in court.

Officer Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy face second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of James Boyd.

Police say Boyd was camping illegally in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains and that he threatened officers with knives during a standoff.

Prosecutors say police unnecessarily escalated the situation.

Testimony will resume on Aug. 17 in the hearing to decide if the two officers must stand trial.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Prosecutors in the murder case of two New Mexico police officers failed Friday to remove a witness for the defense who they say is not credible.

Judge Neil Candelaria allowed William Lewinski to go on the stand but has limited his testimony to one area.

Prosecutors say media reports and investigations have found Lewinski practices "pseudoscience" in his research on police use of force. Lewinski defended his research, saying he's been published in multiple peer-review journals on the psychology of policing and other law enforcement topics.

Lewinski spent the morning testifying about the split-second decisions police officers make in use of force encounters.

Officer Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy face second-degree murder in the March 2014 shooting death of James Boyd. Police say Boyd was camping illegally in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains and that he threatened officers with knives during a standoff.

Defense attorneys say the officers acted in self-defense.

The shooting came amid a wave of police shootings in the city and just before the U.S. Justice Department issued a harsh report involving use of excessive force by the Albuquerque Police Department.

Sandy and Perez are the first officers to face criminal charges in the 40 shootings by city police since 2010.

The hearing will determine whether the case will go to trial. It'll likely go into next week.