State v. Mobbley, 650 P.2d 841, Court of Appeals of New Mexico 1982.
Facts: The defendant, Mobbley, was charged with harboring and aiding Andrew Needham knowing he had committed a felony with the intent to escape arrest. When the police came to the defendant’s house, she was harboring two felons, one being her husband and the other being Andrew Needham. When the police asked if they were in the house, she said no. But after hearing noises the police entered and found the two felons. Since the New Mexico harboring and aiding felons statute does not apply to wives and their husbands or close relatives, the defendant is only charged with aiding Needham. However, the defendant claims that she could not have revealed Needham without revealing her husband.
Procedural History: Trial Court dismissed the information. The Court of Appeals of New Mexico reversed the trial court’s decision to dismiss the information and ordered to reinstate the case on the trial court’s docket.
Issue: Whether the defendant is guilty of harboring and aiding a known felon when the harboring of the criminal is done with the expectation to protect her husband which is reasonable according to New Mexico law.
Reasoning: Since common law tradition of accessories which later were enacted in New Mexico State only exempt relations of husband or wife, parent or grandparent, child or grandchild, and brother or sister, the relationship between the defendant and Needham is not exempt. Since the language of the statute is clear there is no room for interpretation. Though the defendant was put in a dilemma, to add that additional exemption would to add words to the statute.