NM judge busted on rape charges

By Rob Nikolewski on July 19, 2011
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Just as the people of New Mexico are reeling from the news of an upcoming bribery trial involving a state district court judge, now comes word that a district judge has been arrested on rape charges.

From Associated Press out of Albuquerque:

Judge Albert "Pat" Murdoch

The chief criminal judge in New Mexico’s busiest judicial district has been arrested by Albuquerque police on rape and other charges.

Deputy Police Chief Paul Feist says state District Judge Pat Murdoch’s arrest Tuesday afternoon stemmed from a prostitution investigation.

Murdoch is facing charges of criminal sexual penetration and intimidation of a witness.

Feist says Murdoch is cooperating with investigators. He’s expected to be booked Tuesday night on a $50,000 bond warrant.

Aside from the shock, the arrest promises to wreak even more havoc on the case involving former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. Murdoch was the sitting judge in that matter and was expected to make a ruling Aug. 1 on whether the case against Vigil-Giron and others — who are facing multiple corruption charges — should proceed. Click here for the details on the Vigil-Giron case, which has been dragging through the courts for nearly two years now.

Click here for more on the AP story.

A mug shot of the judge has just been released:

Murdoch has served on the bench for 25 years and is known to have a good reputation among attorneys across the state for being fair and even-tempered. A recent profile of him describes a difficult childhood in which Murdoch overcame the effects of polio and the death of his mother. Click here to read the story, which was posted by the publication Diversity & the Bar.

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6 Comments For This Post So Far

  1. Richard
    5:56 am on July 20th, 2011

    I believe–if Deputy Police Chief Paul Feist would take a trip to Lea County Correctional Facility and speak with Kark Knapp #61538 he would obtain information regarding an extented history of drugs and girls related to the above subject. Mr. Feist might also find a conflict of interest between the above subject and Mr. Kapp that reasonable fairness would call for a review of the case.

  2. Jim Scarantino
    8:52 am on July 20th, 2011

    Judge Ted Baca should face disciplinary charges for his public comments quoted in the Albuquerque Journal in which he all but provides character testimony in a pending case. Certainly his comments can influence the future jury pool. Judges should not be making public statements about cases pending in other courtrooms. If the NM Judiciary is going to clean up its image, and its substantive record, they need to run a tighter ship on cases involving sitting judges. If he wants to be a PR flak for judges facing charges, Baca should hang up his robes and get another job.

  3. Dave Thomson
    9:31 am on July 20th, 2011

    I call Whoopi Goldberg as a character witness: “It wasn’t rape-rape.”

  4. Jane
    1:39 pm on July 20th, 2011

    Judge Ted Baca has other questionable conduct in his record. For example, he ordered a website be shut down because politically connected lawyers wanted to continue making money on a number of cases that touted fraudulent conduct as lawful. The complaint that Baca upheld without any evidence contained a number of false allegations. The lawyers wanted it shut down because it was interfering with their clients’ penny stock fraud. Baca ignored constitutional concerns as well as the fact that the complaint was false.

    Is this arrest of Murdock the work of Gary King to get him out of the way and get a more sympathetic judge to allow him to continue “prosecuting” the case or is it legitimate?

  5. simon
    12:41 pm on July 22nd, 2011

    Do you Judges think that you are any less guilty for your private corruption? For example, do you, Sandra Clinton, Metro Judge 2nd Dist, think that your fixing DUI cases for $15,000 is not criminal? Do you, Judge Baca, Judge Huling, previous “retired” Judge Rivera, “retired” Judge Lang, do you think that your fixing cases for your politically connected lawyers is any less criminal? Do you Judges in the Thirteenth District, Seventh District, Jim Martin in the Third District, do you think you are any less guilty for fixing cases? Do you, Justice Daniels think that your attempts to cover up the Mike Murphy pay to play (and probably most other judges placed by Richardson) is any less criminal than Judge Murdock’s misconduct? Or you, Justice Maes, do you think your failure to report what you knew about Mike Murphy is any less criminal? How about you, Judge Black, Judge Conway, Judge Armijo, how about you doing favors and getting rid of cases that are inconvenient for your politically connected lawyers and big money? The truth is, corruption is rampant amoung our NM judiciary and you are all hypocrits for claiming to be “shocked.” You all know how “business is run” in NM but you keep quiet. Instead, you go after honest people who try to expose your corruption. You have double standards and you yourselves are engaging in criminal behavior. It’s ugly and you know what I am talking about.

  6. Jane
    10:10 am on July 23rd, 2011

    Yes, Simon. It is fairly common knowledge that a certain group of lawyers are above the law, they have nothing preventing them from ruining any company or individual they want. This group is not expected to practice within the ethics rules or advance only claims with merit as other lawyers are expected. The Ethics Board is an extension of Richardson as is the Judiciary Standards Commission. They are watchdogs and round file complaints against the politically favored lawyers and judges and pursue fictional allegations against anyone in their way. Judge Murdock’s arrest, however sad it might be that he was indulging in illegal entertainment, sounds like a set up by Gary King to get him off the Giron case. Why couldn’t the 23 year old simply run if she were not willing to participate? This is more vile politics. The Kings and Richardson have destroyed many people who got in their way over the years. They have freely used the state police to intimidate, threaten, arrest or frame people who might have exposed them. The Supreme Court is loaded with Richardson appointees – most of whom purchased their seat from Richardson and are now bound to do things his way. We have criminals running our legal system people. There is no doubt about it.

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