By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Criminal charges against Jim Burleson, a fight promoter who has admitted shooting Jason Pacheco, will be bound over to district court, said Magistrate Court Judge Joel Garnett in a statement on Friday.
Jason Pacheco died Feb. 1 after he was shot on Main Street. Burleson and Pacheco were both involved in mixed-martial arts cage fighting and were on their way to a weigh-in for fighters at a gym on Main Street.
Garnett’s decision came after a day long hearing in which the district attorney’s office interviewed several witnesses and showed videotaped witnesses at the scene and the defense attorney cross examined witnesses.
“I was a little surprised,” said Lee Deschamps attorney for the defense.
“Jim had passed a polygraph test with flying colors,” said Deschamps. The polygraph showed that Burleson did not know who he was shooting at when the shot was fired, Deschamps said.
Prosecuting attorney Kirk Chavez could not be reached for comment.
The Quay County District Attorney’s office has advanced two theories regarding Burleson’s involvement in the death of Pacheco, according to the court documents.
The first is that the death of Pacheco was murder in the second degree and that Burleson did unlawfully kill Pacheco without justification or excuse. If convicted of this charge, Burleson could face 19 years in jail.
The second is that Burleson unlawfully killed Pacheco without malice “which was committed upon a sudden quarrel.” If convicted of this charge, Burleson’s maximum sentence could be 15 years.