Prosecutors initially sought to charge two Albuquerque cops who shot and killed a homeless man camping in the New Mexico wilderness in March 2014 with first-degree murder, but the officers are now expected to face lesser charges.

The killing of James Boyd, a schizophrenic 38-year-old, by police officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez after an hours-long standoff was captured in a graphic video recorded by a camera on one of the officers’ helmets. The footage went viral, prompting outrage and turmoil across New Mexico that culminated with clashes between protesters and riot police with tear gas.

Special prosecutor Randi McGinn, a hardnosed Albuquerque medical malpractice and wrongful death lawyer who claims she once made a witness throw-up on the stand under intense cross-examination, announced yesterday her plan to pursue several charges against Sandy and Perez, including second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and aggravated battery.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenberg filed first-degree murder charges against Sandy and Perez in January, but was disqualified in April after a judge ruled there was a conflict of interest.

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