Criminal Justice

Lawyer tells jurors the man he shot was a ‘methed-out lunatic’

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A New Mexico criminal defense lawyer told jurors on Monday that the man he shot in 2012 near the entry of his law office was a “methed-out lunatic” who ignored a warning to leave his law office.

Albuquerque lawyer David “Chip” Venie said in his opening statement that he was defending himself when he shot and wounded the homeless man, Stephen Biddinger, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

According to the newspaper, Venie’s “detailed and dramatic statement prompted an objection from the prosecution, a forceful admonition from the judge and defiance from Venie, who insisted that he was entitled to a subjective description of Biddinger.”

Venie also frequently referred to Biddinger’s current incarceration for aggravated assault on a household member.

Venie is charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and tampering with evidence. According to previous reports, a recording of the shooting by Venie’s wife showed Biddinger did not have a weapon.

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