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2009 Prosecutors Section Annual Awards

The Prosecutors Section presented its annual Prosecutor of the Year awards at a breakfast banquet on March 19 at the Hyatt Hotel in Albuquerque during the New Mexico District Attorneys Association Spring Conference. Chair Cheryl Johnston presented the awards. Pictured below: (top row) District Attorney Kari Brandenburg; Law Enforcement Prosecutor of the Year – Troy Davis, 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office; Rookie Prosecutor of the Year – John Sugg, 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office; Legal Impact Prosecutor of the Year – Michael Fricke, 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office; Prosecutors Section Chair Cheryl Johnston; (bottom row) Prosecutor of the Year – David Waymire, 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office; Community Service Prosecutor of the Year – Ben Cross, 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office (Curry and Roosevelt counties); and District Attorney Matt Chandler.


2009 Prosector of the Year Award Recipients

 

 

 

David Waymire, Prosecutor of the Year

Prosecutor of the Year – David Waymire, 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Waymire has been a prosecutor since 1996. In 2004 he became the supervisor of the Violent Crimes Division and he continues in that capacity. Waymire has prosecuted 30 jury trials on violent crimes and most resulted in convictions. One of the most high profile cases was the John Hyde case, the mentally-impaired defendant that shot and killed two Albuquerque Police Department officers and three civilians in one day. He is currently prosecuting the case of Brandon Craig, who is charged with multiple gunshot killings of three young men on a remote road in the east mountains. Waymire digested seven years of paperwork related to the investigation in order to prepare for the trial. In addition, Waymire supervises 23 employees in the Violent Crimes Division. “His grasp of the law and legal concepts is exemplary. Employees – not just those in his division – look to him for knowledge and guidance,” said District Attorney Kari Brandenburg in her nomination letter.

 

Troy Davis, Legal Impact Prosecutor of the Year

Law Enforcement Prosecutor of the Year – Troy Davis, 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. As supervisor of the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office “Meth Initiative,” Davis helped to eliminate the backlog of methamphetamine-related cases by taking over the screening and grand jury presentations of all cases assigned to the unit. In this capacity he also keeps Bernalillo County area law enforcement agencies abreast of the prosecution of the most serious methamphetamine offenders. Prior to his current position, Davis was the assistant supervisor of the District Attorney’s Gang Unit that was instrumental in the successful prosecution of some of the most dangerous and violent gang members within the country, such as the “East Side Locos.” Davis was most recently involved in the prosecution of Matthew Astorga, a case involving the murder of a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy.

 

Ben Cross, Community Service Prosecutor of the Year

Community Service Prosecutor of the Year – Ben Cross, 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office (Curry and Roosevelt counties). Cross is in charge of a program known as ACT, Abolish Chronic Truancy. School truancy in the 9th Judicial District was decreased by almost 4 per cent last year, the lowest that the district has seen in 10 years. As part of the program, Cross educates students from 4th to 12th grade on the importance of staying in school and warns that if they drop out, they have a 70 per cent chance of ending up in prison. Cross has challenged 12th graders in the district to obtain perfect attendance in 2009 so that they may be entered into a drawing for $10,000 toward the purchase of a new car. “Ben is respected in the district as one of our best, and I believe Ben’s innovative efforts and success in and out of the courtroom deserve recognition in the area of community service prosecutor of the year,” stated District Attorney Matt Chandler.

 

Michael Fricke, Legal Impact Prosecutor of the Year

Legal Impact Prosecutor of the Year – Michael Fricke, 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. According to District Attorney Brandenburg, “Fricke has shown that a talented prosecutor can do it all; and he has shown that we, as prosecutors, can do more than we think we can.” Fricke has been a prosecutor in the Violent Crimes Division that deals with high profile murder cases often receiving media attention. He moved to Metropolitan Court Appeals and now works in the Special Prosecutions Division, which deals mostly with probation violation prosecutions. Fricke tries serious felonies, is an instructor at the police academies playing a major role in shaping the type and quality of instruction that the officers receive, and fights habeas corpus cases through tedious legal research and analysis of testimony.

 

John Sugg, Rookie Prosecutor of the Year

Rookie Prosecutor of the Year – John Sugg, 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. In less than two years, Sugg established a reputation as a no-nonsense prosecutor who was able to try difficult cases with successful results. “Most impressive was his ability to obtain felony convictions in nearly all of his cases and to obtain long prison sentences in cases involving serious and repeat offenders,” stated District Attorney Kari Brandenburg. Sugg heads up a new position at the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office that targets violent and repeat offenders on probation. The project’s goal is reduce the population of the Metropolitan Detention Center by resolving difficult probation violation cases in three months, a process that normally takes six months from the defendant’s arrest. In addition, Sugg is a member of a committee that established a system in which the District Attorney’s Office is sent a daily e-mail from the jail listing every inmate who was booked into the facility on a probation violation.

 


 

 

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