Decision on jury trial for airman delayed

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A decision on whether a Cannon Air Force Base airman will face a jury trial in connection with his wife’s death has been delayed while more evidence is collected. Investigating officer Lt. Col. Major Daniel Kiefer agreed Friday to hold Airman Basic Edward Novak II’s Article 32 hearing open for […]

Novak hearing completes second day

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Defense counsel for a Cannon Air Force Base airman charged with murder spent Thursday grilling agents from the Office of Special Investigations about their investigation into the death of Kimberly Novak. Special Agent Mark Brashears testified during the second day of Airmen Basic Edward Novak II’s Article 32 hearing that […]

Second hearing begins for Cannon airman

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A Cannon Air Force Base homicide victim may have been the mistaken target of retaliation against a witness in an unrelated homicide trial, defense attorneys allege. An Article 32 hearing that began Wednesday at the base is the second in the case against Airman Basic Edward Novak II. He is […]

Baca given max sentence

1178945942-512baca2web.jpg

By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers District Judge Steven Quinn sentenced 20-year-old Richard Baca to 21 years in prison Friday on charges connected with the 2004 death of Amber Robinson of Portales. Baca was convicted March 7 by a jury in a Portales courtroom of second-degree murder and two counts of third-degree evidence tampering. Quinn had […]

McNaughton case slated for feature on Court TV

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The case of a Clovis woman killed by a local dentist will be featured on a nationally televised crime show. In mid-April, family and friends of Laura McNaughton and local law enforcement participated in interviews and investigation reenactments and provided photos for the show “Body of Evidence: From the Case […]

Second Amendment needs recognition as individual right

By Freedom Newspapers Viewed narrowly, the decision March 9 by a federal appeals court to overturn the 1976 District of Columbia law barring the ownership of handguns with just a few exceptions — such as for law enforcement officers in the course of duty — applies only to the District of Columbia. Therefore it has […]

Slaying trial set to begin after multiple delays

PNT Staff Report After multiple delays, the jury trial of a Portales man accused of killing a 19-year-old Portales woman in 2004 is set to begin Monday in Roosevelt County District Court. Richard Baca, 20, of Portales is accused of first-degree murder in the death of Amber Robinson of Portales. He is also charged with […]

Portales man sentenced to prison

PNT Staff Report A Portales man convicted of taking more than $600,000 from an armored car service where he worked last year has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison. State District Judge Teddy Hartley also ordered Scott Kirby, 23, to repay the money that was not recovered, 9th Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler […]

Cannon captain sentenced to one year

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Editor’s note: This report contains language that some readers may find offensive. A Cannon Air Force Base captain has been sentenced to one year of military confinement and will be dismissed from the Air Force after he was found guilty of molesting an 8-year-old boy, according to base officials. Capt. […]

Death penalty can be sought

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor A district court judge ruled Monday the state could pursue the death penalty — at least for now — in the case of a man accused of kidnapping and killing an elderly Portales couple almost two years ago. Prior to Monday’s probable cause hearing, attorneys worked out an agreement […]

TB case reported in area

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor An employee at a local milk processing plant has contracted tuberculosis, but health officials say there is little danger of the disease spreading. DairiConcepts spokeswoman Monica Coleman confirmed late Thursday the company had been contacted by the state health department regarding an employee with tuberculosis. She said all employees […]

Bullying journalists endangers freedom

By Freedom Newspapers The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to take a case involving a prosecutor seeking the telephone records of two reporters with The New York Times. The decision is regrettable — even though it is far from certain that the high court would have decided the case as we would have preferred. […]

New evidence found in death penalty case against area dentist

Freedom Newspapers New evidence was discovered Tuesday in the death penalty case against a Clovis dentist accused of killing a 30-year-old mother of two and leaving her body in a rural ditch, 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Members of the Curry County Major Crimes Unit found the evidence during a search at 316 […]

Man pleads guilty to embezzlement

PNT Staff Report A 23-year-old Portales man signed a plea agreement last week in connection with the theft in March of more than $600,000 from an armored car service that employed him, according to court documents filed in 9th Judicial District Court in Portales. According to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler, Scott Kirby agreed […]

Shooting case difficult for investigators one year later

Freedom Newspapers At the edge of Sgt. Dan Aguilar’s desk are two cardboard expanding files stuffed with papers to the point of bursting. They are the case files for 10-year-old Carlos Perez, who died a year ago Friday while sleeping in his bed. He said he put the files away several times, but then something […]

District attorney acted in best interest of justice

Editorial Boulder, Colo., District Attorney Mary Lacy felt the need to explain herself amid questions about whether she should have spent the time and money pursuing a lead that didn’t pan out. The explanation should not have been necessary. Lacy spent an hour and a half last week discussing the arrest of John Mark Karr […]

Tucker death without suspect three years later

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers It was a late Thursday night when sheriff’s deputies were called — a Clovis man was found by his family, shot to death at the business he owned. Three years later investigators still don’t know who killed J.C. Tucker, owner of Tucker Auto Sales and Tucker Self-Storage on U.S. 60-84 […]

Individuals must take responsibility

By Tibor Machan: Syndicated Columist The Nobel Laureate in literature, Gunter Grass, whose book “The Tin Drum” made him world renowned as Germany’s most prominent postwar novelist, had one major obsession: How all of Germany must be held guilty for the Holocaust. “The Tin Drum” itself harps on that theme and he has continued to […]

Colorado serial murder case has Clovis connection

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A Clovis native who developed a taste for crime fighting as a local newspaper reporter and photographer played a role in a convicted Colorado man’s confessing to the killing of as many as 48 people. Scott Fischer was part of a three-member cold-case unit in El Paso County, Colo., that […]

Parents visit Clovis site where daughter slain

By Sharna Johnson By Sharna Johnson CNJ STAFF WRITER sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com On the edge of a desolate, wind-whipped field stands a small homemade cross wrapped in a pink feather boa. It was placed by a mother and father mourning their daughter. Thursday, for the first time, David and Maria Beardmore visited the ditch where the battered […]