New Mexico v. Sloan (Published Opinion)Annotate this Case
After retrial, defendant Matthew Sloan appealed his convictions for burglary and felony murder. At the second trial, the State presented evidence that defendant, armed with a rifle and accompanied by two other men, broke into the victim’s house to retrieve drugs or money from the victim and that defendant shot and killed the victim during the burglary. On appeal, defendant argued: (1) the district court denied him his right to be present and to confront witnesses against him by failing to determine whether he made a valid waiver of his right to be present at three pretrial hearings; (2) he received ineffective assistance from his trial counsel; and (3) the district court committed reversible error by declining to instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter as a lesser included offense. Finding no reversible error, the New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed defendant's convictions.