US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Witness in Inmate's Case Drunk in Court

By Jeremy Pawloski
Journal Staff Writer

A woman formerly employed at the Santa Fe County jail showed up in court drunk Monday to testify whether a female inmate was being denied emergency medical treatment for a life-threatening illness.

Santa Fe public defender Damien Horne said that Rose Bell-Engle, 48, a former health services administrator for the county jail, first lied to Santa Fe District Judge Michael Vigil about whether she had drunk any alcohol.

But then Bell-Engle blew a 0.09 blood alcohol level on two Breathalyzer tests administered to her at the court, according to Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano. The legal limit for driving while intoxicated in New Mexico is a 0.08 blood alcohol level.

Horne, who was trying to determine whether his client, Melody Chavez, was receiving treatment for a bowel disorder that a doctor termed "life threatening," said Bell-Engle's untruthfulness is disconcerting.


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