Gov. Susana Martinez is ready to testify in open court when her former campaign manager goes on trial next month.
This week, a US District Court judge denied Jamie Estrada’s motion to delay his trial until next year. Instead, Judge William “Chip” Johnson decided to move jury selection up nearly a week.
Estrada, who faces felony charges for allegedly intercepting emails sent to Martinez' campaign account and misleading federal agents, sought to delay the trial so his attorneys Zachary Ives and Molly Schmidt-Norwara would have time to review additional discovery and the government’s list of 55 witnesses.
On Wednesday, Ives asked Judge William “Chip” Johnson to delay the trial until after the November general election or at least until September.
After hearing arguments in the Albuquerque federal courthouse, Johnson denied the motion and set jury selection for July 10. Opening arguments are now scheduled for July 14.
US Assistant Attorney General Fred Federici told Johnson that the governor’s staff has already cleared her official and campaign schedules for July and Martinez is prepared to testify at Estrada’s trial this summer. Federici says his team is working to reduce its potential witness list and eliminate any overlap to keep the trail under three weeks.
Both sides were ordered to meet after the hearing to discuss complicated jury instructions.
In April, Johnson denied Estrada discovery material from a controversial lease deal with the Albuquerque Downs.
Johnson ruled Estrada charges didn’t relate to e-mails associated with the racino.