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Vigil case goes to district court

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By Tris DeRoma

Brandi Vigil, the Alcade woman accused of trying to cash $3,555.07 in checks she stole out the mailboxes of Los Alamos residents in 2013, will be heading from magistrate court to district court.
However, her attorney, Tyr Loranger, almost derailed those plans, entering a motion centering on right to speedy trial laws.
“My client informed me that she was picked up on a warrant on the 11th of September. Her release order was filed on or about Dec. 10, but she was not released until Dec. 24 of 2014. This is approximately three and a half months.” He then quoted a statute to Los Alamos Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados that emphasized a suspect in a crime cannot be held more than 10 days before their preliminary hearing if they’re in custody and no more than 60 days if they aren’t in custody.
“In this case, Ms. Vigil was in custody, and so the state was well outside its time limits,” he said.
The prosecution however argued that Vigil was held without prejudice, so the limits didn’t apply.
Tyranger argued that there was nothing to support the prosecution’s claims.
“There was not good cause established by the state,” he said. “...The exception is very clear. No preliminary hearing shall be heard after the time limits have lapsed.”
Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist argued that regardless of the time limits, dismissal is not the answer and that magistrate court has the option of expanding the time between arrest and preliminary hearing if it so chooses.
Casados sided with Wahlquist, so Vigil’s case was bound over to district court. As of press time, a date has not been set.
Shortly after she was arrested in 2013, Vigil was charged with four counts of forgery (issue or transfer, $2500 or less) and one count of conspiracy to commit forgery (issue or transfer, $2500 or less). If given the maximum sentence for all of the counts, Vigil could serve a maximum of 12 years in prison and a $12,500 fine.