Magistrate Judge Discusses Release Of Defendants

Magistrate Judge Pat Casados

Staff Report

Los Alamos Magistrate Judge Pat Casados responded Tuesday to questions concerning her decisions to release seven people on their own recognizance who were arrested March 20 on drug-related charges.

All seven were arrested during Operation Spring Cleaning conducted by the Los Alamos Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

Although defendants Nicole Marsh, Nicholas Conner, Amanda Osborne, Anthony Knief, Allan Houle, Kathy Gibbons and Byron Henderson were released without bond, Casados said they were all ordered to report at least weekly to the probation office in Los Alamos and are subject to random drug-testing.

Casados said she is bound by a bail reform constitutional amendment, which was passed by New Mexico voters last November and mandates that people awaiting trial who are not a danger to the community or a flight risk will not be held in jail just because they can’t afford to pay their bond.

She added that the New Mexico Supreme Court provided guidelines to judges on how to implement the new amendment in January and that they are still working on the actual rules for judges to follow.

“People are innocent until proven guilty,” Casados said. “Nobody can be kept in jail for inability to pay bail unless they are a flight risk or a danger to the community”.

Editor’s note: Defendant Amanda Osborne of Los Alamos was arrested Monday for allegedly violating the conditions of her pre-trial release. A police incident report indicates that during random drug testing, Osborne tested positive for methamphetamines. She remains in the Los Alamos County Detention Center.