Local man sentenced for role in Newman case

PNT Staff Report

A Portales man was sentenced Monday on charges filed in connection with the March 3, 2005 murders of Odis and Doris Newman of Portales.

According to a press release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office, Archie Crawford, 26, of Portales has been sentenced to eight years in the New Mexico penitentiary, for charges of disposing of stolen property, a third degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a fourth degree felony. He pleaded guilty to the charges in June.

The sentence, handed down by Judge Stephen Quinn, was the maximum penalty allowed under New Mexico law, according to the press release.

“We’re pleased with the maximum sentence,” said 9th Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler.

The Newman’s bodies were found in the trunk of their burned vehicle in rural Roosevelt County in March of 2005. Jerry Fuller, 34, of Portales pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder earlier this month for his part in the murder of the elderly Portales couple. He has been sent to the New Mexico Department of Corrections in Santa Fe for a 60-day evaluation prior to sentencing. His plea agreement calls for a 127-year sentence, according to Chandler.

A second suspect in the murder, Stanley Bedford of Portales is in custody awaiting trial in May.

Crawford and accomplice Cynthia Peninger along with Bedford were arrested March 6, 2006, after attempting to pawn items that belonged to the Newman’s at a Clovis pawnshop. That arrest supplied police with information that led to Fuller’s arrest.

In custody since his arrest in 2005, Crawford pleaded guilty to the charges on June 30. After being sent to the Department of Corrections for a 60-day diagnostic evaluation, he was returned to Curry County for sentencing.

Earlier this year, Peninger pleaded guilty to the charge of receiving stolen property and is free on parole.