A correction was requested by the Attorney General’s Communications Director, Mike Saccone. The correction was made at 9:45 a.m. on July 29 .
15-year-old John Caudle was arraigned today on first degree murder charges in the deaths of his mother and stepfather. Caudle, who was 14 and weighed only 97 pounds when he was arrested, has been direct filed as an adult and faces 80 years in prison. Inside the Rio Grande County courtroom, the question on many people’s lips was ‘why is Assistant Attorney General Dan Edwards prosecuting this case’?
Edwards has a background in prosecuting death penalty cases and was reportedly involved with District Attorney Carol Chambers’ prosecution of Sir Mario Owens. Owens received the death penalty for the gang-related murder of witnesses set to testify against him.
Why Edwards is involved in the Caudle case is a standing question that raises concerns for Mary Ellen Johnson, Executive Director at Pendulum Juvenile Justice. “John Caudle might have weighed 97 pounds soaking wet and is about the farthest thing imaginable from a big bad gangbanger. The state has plenty of resources to prosecute an abused kid. Why are they bringing in an Assistant Attorney General, whose expertise is in death penalty cases? Local prosecutors have all the resources they need. What’s this really about?”
Asked why he thought Edwards was involved, State Public Defender Doug Wilson said, “That’s a good question,” but was reluctant to offer further speculation.
The Attorney General’s Office could not offer a complete explanation for its interest in this particular case. The Attorney General’s Communications Director, Mike Saccone, explained the general purpose of the Attorney General’s Homicide Assistance Unit. When asked if a specific request was made by the District Attorney’s Office Saccone said, “I’m not familiar with the details of this particular case in terms of who requested them, but we generally only intervene in cases when we’re requested to come help.”
At time of publication, the Attorney General’s Office was looking for documentation of a request for assistance from the District Attorneys’ Office in the 12th Judicial District.
Specific information about a request for assistance was also sought from District Attorney Dan Mahonee’s Office, but could not be provided without the permission of prosecuting attorney Dan McIntyre, who is out of town until next week.