SANTA FE ― This week, the New Mexico Supreme Court agreed with arguments by the Office of the Attorney General and issued an opinion affirming the first-degree murder conviction of violent repeat offender Dorall Smith.
The victim was Smith’s ex-girlfriend. Smith had a threatening confrontation with the victim the day before the murder and repeatedly called and texted her the night of the murder. Her body was then discovered the next morning at her Albuquerque apartment. She had been stabbed approximately 90 times in a prolonged and extensive attack. DNA evidence placed the defendant at the scene.
“A brutal murderer who stabbed his ex-girlfriend 90 times will stay in prison thanks to the work of the Criminal Appeals Division of the Office of the Attorney General,” Attorney General Hector Balderas said. “New Mexico is the second most dangerous state in the country and my office is focused on keeping the most violent, dangerous offenders behind bars. My thoughts are with the victim’s family and I hope they will take some solace in the Supreme Court’s decision.”
The Supreme Court held that Smith acted with deliberate intent to kill the victim due to his motive to kill based on his past relationship with the victim, the nature of the attack, the threatening confrontation the day before the murder, and his subsequent actions in disposing of his clothes and the murder weapon and slashing the tires of the victim’s vehicle.
The Court also held that the admission of autopsy photographs of the victim did not violate Smith’s right to confront the witnesses against him. Such photographs are not testimonial and the author of the autopsy report was available at trial for cross-examination.