District Attorney Matt Chandler mulls attorney general run

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico District Attorney Matt Chandler says he plans to decide this week if he will be a candidate for New Mexico Attorney General. Chandler, 34, a Republican in his second term as the 9th Judicial District Attorney, said he is going over the decision with his family. “Over the past […]

District attorney reviewing fatal wreck case

PNT staff reports District Attorney Matt Chandler is still reviewing information turned over by the Portales Police in the case of a 71-year-old Portales woman who died after being struck by a vehicle on Oct. 30. Chandler said Monday his staff is still reading through a huge file submitted by Portales police concernign the death […]

Clovis man convicted of attempted murder for attacking guards with shank

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By Eric Butler: Freedom New Mexico A Curry County jury has convicted Guadalupe Urquizo of attempted murder for an October 2008 attack against two detention officers at the jail. The jury verdict was returned Wednesday after a one-day trial. District Attorney Matt Chandler said Urquizo, 29, of Clovis, lunged at two guards with a sharpened […]

Judge denies plea agreement change

Freedom New Mexico District Judge Teddy Hartley on Friday denied a request to change the terms of a recent plea agreement, District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Cody Banister, 28, of Roosevelt County, in January agreed to a 15-year prison sentence following allegations he manufactured methamphetamine. On Friday, Bannister asked to spend the last two years […]

Clovis man convicted on kidnapping charges

Freedom New Mexico A 36-year-old Clovis man accused of kidnapping and repeatedly raping a woman on a two-day crime spree was convicted by jury trial Wednesday, according to District Attorney Matthew Chandler. Chandler said Anthony Morgan was found guilty on one count of first-degree kidnapping, one count of criminal sexual penetration, two counts of aggravated […]

Homicide suspect indicted on murder charges

Freedom New Mexico Homicide suspect Anthony Ray Casillas was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder Friday in connection with the Sept. 25 shooting deaths of a Melrose man and a Lubbock woman, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler. Casillas, 21, of Clovis is accused of shooting Gary Payne, 52, and Melissa Ward, 36, while […]

DA: 2005 homicide suspect attempting to negotiate surrender

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Clovis homicide suspect Noe Torres is trying to negotiate his surrender to authorities, said District Attorney Matt Chandler. Chandler said Torres contacted his office Tuesday and insisted staff from the Fox TV show “America’s Most Wanted” be included in a conference call. “He knows that we’re very close to […]

Five still at large from escape

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Multiple law enforcement agencies continued Tuesday evening to pursue leads on the whereabouts of five escaped Curry County inmates, according to Sheriff Matt Murray. Law enforcement believes at least some of the escapees are still in the Clovis area, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler. Federal agencies including the […]

July 27, 2008 Letters to the Editor

Appreciates Newman Project My family and I wish to express our deepest gratitude to the Newman Project, Steve North and Matt Chandler of the district attorney’s office, Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker and the Portales police force for the beautiful, safe fence, lights and smoke detectors they provided for me. These things have helped make […]

Airman pleads guilty to child solicitation

Freedom New Mexico A 19-year-old former Cannon Air Force Base airman was sentenced to a year in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to child solicitation by electronic device, according to court records. Michael Lee Harvey will also be required to serve two years supervised probation after his release, according to a release from the District […]

Arrests made in year-old Clovis murder

By Sharna Johnson, Freedom New Mexico Vassie Salisbury said she had given up hope anybody would be arrested in her son’s homicide after 13 months. However, Clovis police hadn’t given up, and on Wednesday charged three city men with murder in her son’s shooting death. “I feel a lot happier, the 76-year-old Sailsbury said Wednesday […]

County treasurer accused of tampering with public records

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By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Curry County Treasurer Rhonda Bookout was indicted Friday on the charge of tampering with public records, a fourth-degree felony, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler. Bookout surrendered to law enforcement following the indictment. She was released on a $5,000 appearance bond around 3 p.m., jail officials said. If convicted, […]

Convicted killers sentenced in child’s death

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico An attorney for a convicted killer said his client was remorseful about the 2005 shooting death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy and deserved a suspended sentence to give him a chance at rehabilitation. District Attorney Matt Chandler argued David Griego’s remorse meant little since he took no responsibility for […]

County may be missing funds

By Sharna Johnson and Gabriel Monte: CNJ STAFF WRITERS Curry County officials are reviewing financial records and have notified state police they may be missing funds. State Police Sgt. E.J. Fouratt said the agency is waiting for county officials to complete their review before beginning an investigation. “We’ve looked at a couple of things, but […]

Accused shooter enters plea before Monday trial

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico A man accused of shooting a Clovis teen during a dispute pleaded guilty Friday to voluntary manslaughter and will serve more than eight years in prison, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler. John Cameron, 26, was scheduled to go to trial Monday for second-degree murder in connection with the […]

Jury hears closing arguments

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Jurors will begin deliberating this morning after nearly six hours of closing arguments Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of two Clovis men. While defense attorneys argued evidence was insufficient against their clients, prosecutor Matt Chandler asked jurors to weigh the partnership of five individuals he said planned and […]

Salas: Younger brother responsible

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Demetrio Salas took the stand in his defense Tuesday and told jurors he was at home asleep when his younger brother accidentally shot and killed Carlos Perez. Salas testified he didn’t tell law enforcement his story about the night of the shooting because he didn’t want his little brother, […]

Co-defendant refuses to testify in murder trial

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By Karl Terry and Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico A co-defendant in a first-degree murder case backed out on his deal to testify Thursday in Roosevelt County District Court, according to prosecutors. Orlando Salas, a 17-year-old serving a sentence for his connection to the shooting death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy, was also charged with […]

Shooting trial jury seated

By Karl Terry: PNT managing editor A jury was seated at the close of the day Tuesday in the first-degree murder case of two Clovis men accused in the shooting death of a 10-year-old boy in 2005. “It’s been a long two days, ladies and gentlemen, but we finally got there,” 9th Judicial District Judge […]

Blaze destroys Portales business

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Joe Chandler says he was just 50 feet from his shop when lightning struck Thursday evening sparking a fire. The Portales custom furniture business was destroyed by the blaze early Friday morning. Portales Fire Department units were dispatched to Pioneer Woodworkers on State Highway 88 — the Arch Highway […]