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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

[NM] Fired for shooting outside wife's home, Ex-Deputy Saiz: "As soon as I did it, I knew I screwed up."

...Saiz was sentenced to 18 months supervised probation by District Judge Thomas Hynes. Accepting the guilty plea, Hynes agreed to not formally convict the man, allowing the criminal charge to be expunged if Saiz successfully completes his probation... "It was a lapse in judgment," Saiz said. "At the time there were a lot of issues going on. It was just out of pure frustration. ... As soon as I did it, I knew I screwed up."

CURRENT NEWS DOESN'T MENTION THAT THEIR SON WAS IN HIS CAR WHEN HE WAS SHOOTING, BUT THE OLD NEWS DOES.

Previous entry:
[NM] Deputy Saiz will be fired for shooting at wife's house with son in the car - ...[Sheriff Bob Melton] "I think if you're going to violate the law in a blatant and egregious manner, then you're certainly in the wrong profession and you need to look at doing something else"... (What of the wife's safety now?)

Former deputy gets probation for residential shooting
Farmington The Daily Times
By James Monteleone
11/04/2008
[Excerpts] The former county sheriff's deputy charged with firing gunshots outside his wife's home in March pleaded guilty to the felony crime Monday and was sentenced to supervised probation. Steven D. Saiz, 50, fired several .45-caliber rounds into the air March 15 outside his wife's home on the 900 block of Rio Drive in Bloomfield, according to police... Saiz pleaded guilty Monday to fourth-degree shooting from a motor vehicle, as initially charged... Saiz was sentenced to 18 months supervised probation by District Judge Thomas Hynes. Accepting the guilty plea, Hynes agreed to not formally convict the man, allowing the criminal charge to be expunged if Saiz successfully completes his probation term. Gallup District Attorney Karl Gillson said while law enforcement officers should be held to a higher standard under the law, this incident had no connection to his work as a deputy and no one was threatened by shots fired into the air. Saiz's wife, he noted, was not aware of the shots fired outside her home until the next day. "He was off duty, and he was a reckless human being at that moment," Gillson said. "Had he been on duty, or had any elements of his occupation been involved here, we would have looked at it in another light." The sentence is not a slap on the hand, Gillson said, and if Saiz violates his probation, Gallup prosecutors will re-evaluate the case. "This was an isolated incident," said Saiz's attorney, Randy Roberts... Responding to the March shooting, Bloomfield Police pulled Saiz over as he fled the area but allowed the man to leave after recognizing him as a sheriff's deputy. Saiz was arrested the following day after witness reports and shell casings linked the man to the shooting. Following the arrest, Saiz was fired from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Bob Melton said. Saiz was a well-respected deputy prior to the criminal offense, the sheriff said. "This was really an aberration for Steve, with regards to his past employment history. He obviously was a deputy for a very long time and was someone in the department that younger officers looked to for advice," Melton said. "This was an unfortunate incident, but obviously unacceptable with regard to our mandates as individuals representing law enforcement." The former deputy, employed by the Sheriff's Office since 1993, has not appealed the termination. "It was a lapse in judgment," Saiz said. "At the time there (were) a lot of issues going on. It was just out of pure frustration. ... As soon as I did it, I knew I screwed up." The former deputy said the incident was a domestic dispute that went too far, but he never intended to hurt anyone. "It cost me my job," Saiz said. "It's something that has affected my whole life." According to New Mexico court records, Saiz has no prior state criminal record. James Monteleone: jmonteleone@daily-times.com [Full article here]

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