Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Staff report 

Law office dedicated to slain DA

The South Lake complex to be renamed The Victor C. Breen Office.


July 26, 2017

A dedication ceremony honoring the slain 10th Judicial District Attorney Victor Breen will be held Friday with local officials, residents and Breen family members present.

Current 10th DA Tim Rose received permission in 2016 from the Quay County Commission to dedicate and rename the new law office complex on South Lake Street in Breen's honor.

The event will be held at 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the current Office of the District Attorney for the 10th Judicial District located at the corner of South Lake Street and East High Avenue in Tucumcari.

Rose said the building will be named The Victor C. Breen Office of the 10th Judicial District Attorney, to honor Breen's legacy and service to the community.

“I feel like this is a fitting tribute to Victor C. Breen, a man who proudly served as district attorney and who was slain in the course of performing those duties,” Rose said.

Rose said along with renaming the building, a memorial will be set up in the lobby, designed by Interior designer Brenna Nunn-Smiley of Amarillo, Texas, who has ties to the Breen family. He said the centerpiece of the memorial would be a bronze bust sculpture of Breen, crafted by local artist Bill Curry, who also is a former county commissioner and a friend of Breen.

Breen was born Dec. 21, 1916 in Forrest. He graduated from Eldorado High School in Kansas and received his law degree from Kansas University. He returned to Tucumcari in 1946 to set up his law practice, and became district attorney in 1951.

Rose said Breen is the only prosecutor killed in the line of duty in New Mexico’s history. He said Breen served as the 10th Judicial District Attorney serving Quay, Harding and De Baca Counties for 20 years until he was shot and killed in his driveway on his way to court to start a murder trial on Dec. 1, 1971.

Breen, 55 at the time, was shot once by a high-powered rifle and died instantly. The shooter was identified later as Jose Rosendo Garcia, 45, who had been waiting in his car 300 feet across the street.

“I can still recall that day. It was snowing as I drove past Victor's house,” Curry said.

Curry said he saw the car parked at the park across the street from his friends home that morning. He said he questioned why the car was parked there as his continued on his way.

On the day of his murder, Breen was on his way to begin the second day of the murder trial of 17-year-old Joe Jimenez, who had been charged with the killing of 86-year-old Myrtle Spence of Tucumcari.

Then-District Judge J.V. Gallegos postponed the trial after learning of Breen's death.


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