Editor's note: The original version of this story had the headline 'Suspect pleads not guilty in murder case.' The headline was changed to better reflect the story.
The man accused of killing Jackson Weller, 23, a University of New Mexico baseball player, pleaded not guilty in a court appearance on Friday, May 31.
Police said Darian Bashir, 23, shot and killed Weller outside Imbibe — a bar in Nob Hill — in the early hours of Saturday, May 4. According to reports, police arrived on scene and found Weller, who had been shot once in the chest. Weller was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police later told KRQE 13 that Weller had been in a fight before the shooting. Witnesses interviewed said Bashir wasn’t involved in the incident.
Bashir will be detained until his trial.
According to court documents, Bashir was charged with aggravated battery in November 2017 for allegedly shooting a man in the stomach in Downtown Albuquerque. The case was dismissed in January 2018 after prosecutors did not meet hearing deadlines.
In February this year, Bashir faced multiple charges: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, shooting from or at a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence. Police said they responded to reports of gunfire, and said they encountered Bashir and two other men who had both rifles and handguns in a sedan.
Prosecutors recommended Bashir be detained until trail in that case, but a judge released him, citing a “minimal criminal record,” according to court documentation.
In the wake of multiple recent shootings, a joint effort was announced by the Albuquerque Police Department, UNM Police Department and New Mexico State Police to increase police presences, patrols and engage in coordination of efforts in early May.
At the time, Lieutenant Trace Peck, the public informations officer for UNMPD said they would give the specifics of the cooperation in a joint meeting with District Attorney Raul Torres.
Peck did not provide comment by press time.
The Daily Lobo asked Garnett Stokes if UNMPD would be spread thin by additional patrols in coordination with APD and NMSP.
“Absolutely not, we can’t discontinue anything that we’re doing we’re talking about an expansion,” Stokes said.
Stokes said some of those initiatives also mean hiring additional private security, which already exists in some areas of the campus like Zimmerman Library and the Student Union Building.
Campuses are required to disclose crimes on campus to their students due to the Cleary Act.
According to the 2018 Cleary report, the most recent compiled for the University, details crimes that students experiences both on and off campus. All the data compares 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Reports of rape increased by 21% from 2016-17 to 19 reports. 13 of those were reported in on-campus housing.
Aggravated assault (“inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury… usually accompanied by the use of a weapon” according to UNMPD’s definitions) increased from 12 reports in 2016 to 19 reports in 2017. All incidents were reported to have occurred on campus, in student housing on public property.
Stalking increased by 26% between 2016 and 2017, going from 25 reports to 34 reports. All were described as on-campus, and seven of those were in the dorms.
“The incidents that are usually serious ones happen beyond that perimeter,” Stokes told the Lobo when asked about crime on campus.
According to the Cleary report, the crime increases for rape, aggravated assault and stalking were observed to be occurring on campus and on public property. Public property is described by UNMPD as the areas owned by campus such as parking lots or property on Juan Tabo according to Peck.
When asked about the tactics in place to prevent those crimes, Stokes said the new safety initiatives were in place.
“We’ve bought bicycles for our police officers we’ve put security cameras all over the campus,” she said. “We have a number of things on the campus to deal with issues of crime and issues of safety.”
Danielle Prokop is interim news editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ProkopDani.