Criminal Justice

Ex-Cop, Now a Law Student, Says Albuquerque Civil Rights Lawyer Mary Han May Have Been Murdered

Was a civil rights attorney, found dead in her Albuquerque, N.M., home in 2010, a murder victim?

Her family thinks so, and has filed a civil lawsuit against the city’s police department, contending that it botched the investigation of Han’s November 2010 death, which was ruled a suicide. And a former Albuquerque police officer who is now a law student says some in the department thought the 53-year-old woman’s death was a homicide, too, reports KRQE.

Han’s body was found in her BMW with her feet on the dashboard and her home smelled of carbon monoxide. But the car’s engine wasn’t running.

A lieutenant called him the day after Han’s death and said detectives thought it was a staged homicide, says Tom Grover. A friend of Han’s, as well as a police officer who was one of the first on the scene at Han’s home after she was found dead, Grover is now a law student at the University of New Mexico. There were also calls for a full toxicology screening, he recalls.

Grover filed a date-stamped supplemental report, apparently keeping a copy, with the police department a week or so after Han died. But it’s not in her case file and is now being searched for within the police department, the newspaper says.

“I raised the flag of something is wrong here, and this really needs to be processed with some objectivity and that concern just got cast aside,” said Grover.

Additional coverage:

KRQE: “Prominent lawyer found dead at home”

Albuquerque Journal (sub. req.): “Troubling Tape in Attorney Han’s Death”

Albuquerque Journal (sub. req.): “Police Phone Records Urged”

Only in New Mexico: “Once in a While “

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