By Tony Parra
Mayor Orlando Ortega, city manager Debi Lee and the Portales city councilors recognized the efforts of Portales Police Department personnel during the homicide of Odis and Doris Newman in March.
Jerry Fuller, 32, of Portales was arraigned on two counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths of Odis and Doris Newman. Stanley Bedford, 41, of Portales also faces two counts of capital murder. Both have pled not guilty.
Four members of the Portales Police Department received commendations during the city council meeting. Portales Police Department Chief Jeff Gill said investigator Todd Moore was commended for his long hours investigating the case and was directly responsible for locating the suspect’s vehicle.
Gill commended Sabra Munoz, the communications officer (dispatcher), for handling an extremely difficult situation under adverse conditions. Gill also recognized police officers Brack Rains and John Hanks for their work in responding to the fire of the Newman’s house on March 3.
“By no means are these four the only ones involved,” Gill said. “We had several officers involved who worked many long hours. Capt. Lonnie Berry and Capt. Scott Chambers did a fantastic job. Matt Chandler (district attorney) and his office did a wonderful job.”
In other business at the meeting:
• Ortega and city councilors approved an application for a special use permit from Danny Heflin for a commercial development at 1013 W. Second St. Heflin is proposing a the development a packaged liquor store next to the new Dollar General which opened this year.
An application has already been sent by Heflin and Susan Dick to the Alcohol and Gaming Division of New Mexico for the alcohol license. City officials must now hold a public hearing for public comment by April 21.
• Ortega said he would proclaim April as “Keep Portales Beautiful Month.” City Councilor Dianne Parker said the annual trash walk would be held on April 23. The trash walk starts at 9 a.m. at City Park and there will be a lunch for the volunteers at noon.
• Ortega also proclaimed the month as “Child Abuse Prevention Month.” According to Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers there are more than 33 children in Portales who suffer from some form of abuse or neglect each year.
“We are recruiting volunteers to help our most precious and most vulnerable resources,” Catharine Johnson, program coordinator, said. “Children suffer from meth at home, parents in prison and parents who don’t know how to be parents. As a victim’s child advocate you represent a child in need.”
There will be a Roosevelt County Light of Hope ceremony at noon on Thursday at the Roosevelt County Courthouse lawn.