Courts decide DNA test results gets Roswell man a new trial

July 21, 2022 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously affirmed a district court’s decision granting a new trial for a Roswell man after DNA evidence raised questions about his 2013 conviction.

The state’s high court outlined a process for judges to follow in deciding whether to grant a new trial or other relief based on DNA test results obtained after a person was convicted.

The opinion addressed legal issues that hadn’t previously been decided by the court concerning a state law for postconviction consideration of DNA evidence.

The justices reversed the state Court of Appeals and reinstated the district court’s order for a new trial for Gregory Marvin Hobbs, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for a 2012 fatal shooting.

Hobbs contended that DNA test results showed the victim touched the handgun, supporting his testimony that the shooting occurred during a struggle over the weapon.

The Supreme Court concluded the test results were exculpatory because they corroborated Hobbs’ contention that he acted in self-defense.