Lea County Defends Itself in Court Records After Shooting Death of Former Lubbock Woman

- HOBBS, NM -- Officials in Lea County New Mexico presented a written brief with their side of the story last week in court records concerning the death of Amy Reyna.  In October of 2013 Reyna, 35, formerly of Lubbock and more recently of Denver City, was shot and killed inside Lea County after a police chase that started in Denver City.  

The chase hit speeds of more than 100 miles per hour and crossed the state line.  An autopsy showed she had taken methamphetamine.

The case became controversial because in-car video showed that Denver City Police Corporal Ryan Taylor fired numerous shots at Reyna’s vehicle and then at Reyna.  Taylor said he thought she had a gun.

After the shooting, Taylor told New Mexico State Police, “She reached down, and as she’s coming up, that’s when I fired.”   

In April, Reyna’s family sued Denver City Police, Yoakum County, Lea County, Ryan Taylor and several individual officers.  Lea County raised a number of legal defenses - the simplest of which is that Lea County should not be held responsible for any negligence by Denver City Police or Reyna. 

The Reyna family’s lawsuit said, “At no time were instructions given by [the Lea County Sheriff’s Department] to the out of state agencies to back off from the pursuit once the outside agencies crossed over into the State of New Mexico.”

Lea County denied that allegation in its written brief.  Taylor and Denver City Police have not yet filed their side of the story in court records. 

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