New Mexico Supreme Court makes clarification in case involving Clovis teen

New Mexico

Image via Curry County, New Mexico Facebook page

SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the New Mexico Supreme Court clarified what constitutes the use of a deadly weapon in committing an assault.

According to a news release from the state’s Supreme Court, the court concluded that a “defendant uses a deadly weapon to commit assault where a defendant makes facilitative use of the deadly weapon” in a unanimous opinion. This involves a case with a Clovis middle school student who brought a BB gun to school.

The court rejected the arguments made by the student’s attorney who say that the use of a deadly weapon should require an “affirmative action” with the weapon. This comes after the student verbally threatened the principal but never pointed it at him.

“Facilitative use of a deadly weapon may be found if (1) a deadly weapon is present at some point during the encounter, (2) the victim knows or, based on the defendant’s words or actions, has reason to know that the defendant has a deadly weapon, and (3) the presence of the weapon is intentionally used by the defendant to facilitate the commission of the assault,” Chief Justice Michael E. Vigil wrote in the Court’s opinion, which was stated in the release.

According to the release, the court affirmed the delinquency adjudication of the student, with a charge of committing aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a school employee. A Curry County jury also found that the student committed “the delinquent act of unlawfully carrying a deadly weapon on school premises.”

This decision comes after the student appealed the jury’s initial decision, with the Court of Appeals later affirming the delinquency adjudication, the release stated.

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