Andrew Romero

Andrew Romero's trial is being held in Valencia County instead of Sandoval County, where the alleged crime happened. Lawyers were concerned about the media coverage tainting potential jurors. The prosecution case includes Romero's alleged accomplice Tabitha Littles. She took a plea deal and will testify against Romero. A judge will sentence Littles once Romero's trial is over. Prosecutors will not be able to use Romero's extensive criminal history against him. They also can't use portions of the interview he gave to police after being arrested. Romero, also known by his gang name 'Lil Thug Boy,' was supposed to be at the Delancy Street drug rehabilitation program near Espanola when he is accused of gunning down Rio Rancho police officer Gregg Benner as the veteran officer approached his car after noticing a registration problem. Entering the Delancy Street program was a key part of Romero's latest plea deal - an agreement that turned a potential 13-year prison sentence into two years in a residential treatment program plus probation - with no prosecution for being a habitual offender, despite two prior stays in the state prison system. It was supposed to be one more chance for a career criminal - at age 28 - to turn his life around. Instead, police say, it turned into a spree of armed robberies and the death of a police officer.