Attorney General Balderas Files Petition for Review of Court of Appeals’ Reversal of Second Degree Murder Conviction

November 1, 2021
Contact: Jerri Mares — (505) 321-4372

Santa Fe, NM–-Today, Attorney General announced that he has filed a petition in the New
Mexico Supreme Court to review the New Mexico Court of Appeals opinion which reversed
Matthew Chavez’ second degree murder conviction because the jury was instructed on selfdefense and defense of another but not on voluntary manslaughter. Chavez was convicted of
second degree murder and attempted robbery and sentenced to 23 1/2 years of incarceration.
“We are asking the New Mexico Supreme Court to grant certiorari to address for the first
time whether a claim of imperfect self-defense is available to an initial aggressor,” said
Attorney General Hector Balderas. “Violent murderers should not benefit from a loophole in
the law.”
The Criminal Appeals Division of the Attorney General’s Office is handling this matter on
behalf of the State.