Execution chances generally are low

By David Irvin: Freedom Newspapers The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office announced Tuesday prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Jerry Fuller and Stanley Bedford, who are accused of kidnapping and killing an elderly Portales couple earlier this year. The chances the two Portales men will actually be executed if convicted is low, officials with […]

DA seeks death penalty, Chandler says decision not easy

By David Irvin: Freedom Newspapers The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office will seek the death penalty against two men accused of killing an elderly Portales couple earlier this year. Jerry Fuller and Stanley Bedford are accused of kidnapping and killing Odis, 70, and Doris Newman, 69, earlier this year in Portales. The bodies of the […]

Two life sentences given to Clovis man

By David Irvin Dominic Murphy showed no emotion Tuesday when he was sentenced to two life sentences in connection with the 2003 shooting deaths of two Clovis men. He will have to serve 60 years in prison before being eligible for parole, according to state law. Murphy, 26, of Clovis, was convicted by a Curry […]

State police officer files two discrimination complaints

Staff and Wire Reports State police officer James Brown has filed two Equal Opportunity Commission complaints against his employer for what he describes as a hostile work environment. The 42-year-old state police patrolman stationed in Clovis since August 2003 says he was unable to resolve the problem internally. Brown’s latest complaint, filed with the New […]

Month celebrates Hispanics, history does not

By Helena Rodriguez: PNT columnist Someone asked me the other day what has been the most exciting story I’ve written during my 15-year journalism career. Without a second thought, I knew it was the story about a forgotten Mexican folk hero in an unmarked grave in Anson, Texas, which I wrote in 2001 for the […]

Living wills help people deal with issues of death

By Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers New Mexico’s Advance Directive for Health Care states in plain lettering: “You have the right to give instructions about your own health care.” The standard 8-by-11 inch document, popularly referred to as a living will, can be obtained from most law firms and hospitals. But as the Terri Schiavo case […]

District given funds for attorneys

By David Irvin The average case load for prosecutors in the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s office may be cut by a quarter by July. Before adjourning on Saturday, the New Mexico Legislature granted the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s office its request for five additional employees, three of which are prosecutors. Each prosecutor in the District […]

Absolute power has no place in our constitutional system

Freedom Newspapers T he only question for an advocate of traditional American liberties should be “Why did it take so long?” when it comes to the case of Jose Padilla. Padilla, a U.S. citizen, was arrested as a terrorism suspect at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on a flight from Pakistan about 2 1/2 years ago. A […]

Little information released on deaths

By Kevin Wilson Two bodies found in a burned car southeast of Portales on Thursday could be identified in two or three days. But law-enforcement officials are not releasing much more information in connection with the case. “It’s strictly in the interest of not interfering with future investigation,” said New Mexico State Police Lt. Jimmy […]

Sticker artist, wife shocked at controversy

By David Irvin Those sexually-explicit little devils at the heart of controversy in Clovis have been distributed all over the country, with more than 100,000 copies sold, according to the wife of the artist who made them. Ruth Waytz said her husband, Chris “Coop” Cooper, has sold or licensed more than 2 million nude devil […]

Judge declines request to reopen public records case

Freedom Newspapers CLOVIS — A state district court judge on Tuesday denied a Clovis News Journal request to reconsider a public records case against Curry County ruled on last year. Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Joe Parker ruled he had no jurisdiction in the case because the CNJ’s motion to reconsider was not heard within […]

Novak relatives want answers

By David Irvin For nearly three months she has quietly followed her daily routine, trying to maintain her composure and show the world everything is all right. But in the back of Lynda Crozier-Sweet’s mind, the haunting memory of her niece’s mysterious death in October lingers. Her niece, Kimberly Susan Novak, died Oct. 28 in […]

Lawsuit against Curry County thrown out

By Mike Linn A district judge threw out a public records lawsuit filed against Curry County on Monday because of what he said was a procedural error. District Judge Joe Parker said Freedom Communications, parent company of the Clovis News Journal, incorrectly sued Curry County when it sought the salaries of county employees. Parker said […]

All types of discrimation are harmful

By Kevin Wilson I fear I may be a victim of discrimination. But before every lawyer within the area tries to reach me, let me explain that it’s a tough case to win. There’s no concrete evidence, and this isn’t based on race, religion, nationality or skin color. No, it’s quite simply name discrimination. I’ve […]

Man pleads not guilty to shooting Realtor

Staff and Wire Reports ALBUQUERQUE — A 27-year-old Albuquerque man has pleaded not guilty to shooting a well-respected real estate agent in the back of the head and leaving his body in a closet inside a home he was trying to sell. Mario Lucas Chavez entered his plea Friday, the same day family members buried […]

Police waiting on DNA evidence

By Kevin Wilson A long wait for DNA evidence is a common point in Portales’ two homicide investigations. Seven weeks after the June 14 stabbing death of Jorge Prado of Clovis, no murder charges have been filed and police are still waiting on results of DNA tests conducted on knives and blood found in a […]

State takeover unrelated to volunteer’s actions

By Darrell Todd Maurina Decisions by state regulators to take over and then shut down Buena Vista Nursing Home had nothing to do with the actions of a state-appointed volunteer who propositioned Buena Vista employees for sex, an attorney for the state said Saturday. District Judge Stephen Quinn didn’t make a final ruling Saturday but […]

Cookie handout turns into legal battle

By Darrell Todd Maurina A Clovis native who now serves on a California city council is embroiled in a lawsuit that has already cost her city more than $538,000 in lawyer’s fees. According to Julie Ruiz Raber, the case revolves around her decision to hand out cinnamon snickerdoodle cookies to poll workers in 24 of […]

Prosecutors say Chandler stretching the truth

By David Arkin: PNT Correspondent Four prosecutors in the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office claim former colleague Matt Chandler is misrepresenting his record in hopes of being elected on June 1. Chandler said information he’s supplied in fliers and in media advertisements is accurate. He called the prosecutors’ comments “disappointing.” “For this to come out […]

‘Feel good’ laws make for confusing interpretations

A narrow court ruling upholding one small aspect of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act highlights the problems that ensue when Congress passes feel-good legislation that turns out to be imprecise and more sweeping than in keeping with the constitutional ideal of limited government. Sloppy language in laws allows — sometimes requires — the courts […]