Death penalty can be sought in Bedford trial

By Freedom Newspapers District Court Judge Steven Quinn refused to bar the death penalty Friday in the case of a man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple in 2005. Defense attorney Gary Mitchell of Ruidoso argued the constitutionality of the New Mexico death penalty in a broad series of motions heard by the judge […]

Baca found guilty

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor A Roosevelt County jury returned a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday in the 2004 death of a 19-year-old Portales woman. Richard Baca, 20, was accused of beating Amber Robinson of Portales unconscious in the kitchen of the Baca home and burying her alive in the back yard […]

Delegates request funds for Cannon

Freedom Newspapers New Mexico congressional delegates Thursday called upon Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders to fund construction projects for Cannon Air Force Base’s new Air Force Special Operations Command mission, according to a delegation press release. The delegation requested that $72.5 million be provided in the fiscal year 2007 Supplemental Appropriations bill, which will […]

Cannon transition underfunded

Freedom Newspapers The transition to a new mission at Cannon Air Force Base is woefully underfunded in a proposed 2008 military budget, according to a press release from Sen. Pete Domenici, R.-N.M. The approximately $72.5 million Domenici said is needed to establish Air Force Special Operations at Cannon is not included in President Bush’s 2008 […]

Zias secure first winning season in three years

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By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers Roni Gomez knows she’s never going to be a big scorer, but she realizes there are other ways to contribute in a basketball game. The junior guard from Portales came off the bench to help Eastern New Mexico University’s women step up their defensive pressure and the Zias rallied from […]

Defense attorney seeks new trial

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The defense attorney for a 31-year-old Clovis man convicted of first-degree murder contends his client’s rights were violated when police recorded his phone conversations from jail without his knowledge, according to court records. James Klipstine Jr. filed a six-page motion Thursday in the 9th Judicial District Court asking for a […]

Homicide defendant takes witness stand

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Homicide defendant Robert Macias took the stand in court Monday, denying any involvement in the shooting death of a 19-year-old city man a little more than a year ago. After brief questioning by defense attorney James Klipstine Jr., District Attorney Matt Chandler grilled the defendant regarding his account of events […]

Lady Rams lose Shootout finale

By Mickey Winfield Freedom newspapers Portales Lady Ram head coach Brenda Gomez said after Saturday night’s Ram Basketball Shootout loss that if she hadn’t looked at the scoreboard, she’d be more pleased than the night before. But scoreboard was working and the Lady Rams lost to Lubbock’s Trinity Christian 52-32. “The effort was there and […]

Earmarking funding sure to end in scandal

Editorial If anyone still believes the changing of the guard in Congress will curtail the annual raids on ye ol’ pork barrel, or end the practice of earmarking special expenditures for the home district or state, they didn’t read last Sunday’s story in The New York Times, “As Power Shifts in New Congress, Pork May […]

Hounds regroup after home loss

By Dave Wagner, Freedom Newspapers BLACKWATER DRAW — After Saturday’s 21-0 Lone Star Conference South Division-opening victory over Eastern New Mexico University at Blackwater Draw, the Abilene Christian football team is heading for relatively new territory. For ENMU coach Mark Ribaudo and his squad, it’s back to the drawing board. At 4-0, the Wildcats, who […]

Board recommends TRICARE be realigned

By Tom Philpott: Military Columnist The Air Force, the only service opposed to creation of a Unified Medical Command, saw its arguments get strafed, rocketed and bombed during a meeting last week of the Defense Business Board, a group of outside management experts that advises Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The board unanimously recommended that Rumsfeld […]

Mead helps Clovis contain La Cueva

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By Greg Price: Freedom Newspapers After going scoreless in the first half, the Clovis Wildcats exploded in the final two periods en route to a 31-13 victory over La Cueva Friday night at Leon Williams Stadium. Senior running back Brian Mead scored all four of Clovis’ touchdowns and finished with 26 carries for 165 yards […]

Defense motions denied

Freedom Newspapers Motions by the defense team for a Cannon airman charged with murder in connection with the death of his wife were denied during a hearing held this week at Cannon Air Force Base, according to a press release. Defense counsel on Thursday requested a Cannon judge hold a new Article 32 investigation, or […]

Bentley guilty in Clovis murder

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A Clovis jury on Thursday found Jimmy Bentley guilty of second-degree murder for the Christmas Eve shooting death of an Oklahoma photo salesman. The announcement capped a four-day trial in the 9th Judicial District Court in which prosecutors argued Bentley’s shooting of Joseph Phillips, 48, outside a Clovis hotel was […]

Rams excited about defensive prospects

By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer It’s been said that defense wins championships. The Portales Rams are hoping the axiom holds true for their team. In Friday night’s season opener at Las Vegas-Robertson, the Ram defense was one of the bright spots. The Portales defense held the defending state champs to just 57 rushing yards, […]

Prosecutors want testimony excluded

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Prosecutors asked a judge to exclude testimony of a defense psychiatric expert from the murder trial of Jimmy Bentley during a hearing Friday in the 9th Judicial District Court. District Attorney Matt Chandler gave the court several reasons for wanting Dr. Samuel Roll stricken as a witness, including outdated methods, […]

Linebackers back and better

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By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers Jeremy Mullins and Tony Johnson were part of an Eastern New Mexico University defense which struggled mightily at times last season, giving up 30 points and just over 380 yards a game. As two of nine regulars returning on that side of the ball, though, the Greyhounds’ inside linebackers are […]

Smith case counsel changes third time

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A third attorney has taken over as defense counsel in the death penalty case of a Clovis dentist accused of murdering a 30-year-old mother of two and leaving her body in a rural Curry County ditch. Also, District Attorney Matt Chandler told the court at a hearing Thursday morning he […]

Special Operations vital to foreign internal defense

By Marlena Hartz: Freedom Writer HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — Jerome Klingaman was a young combat aviation advisor, thrown into the jungles of Laos, when he stumbled upon a major void in the U.S. military. The last 13 years of his life, he has spent crafting a remedy. Klingaman was part of a haphazard team of […]

Novak hearing ends

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The prosecution and defense agreed on one thing at the conclusion of an evidentiary hearing to determine if a Cannon Air Force Base airman should stand trial for murder in connection with his wife’s death: the case hinges on circumstantial evidence. Defense attorney Maj. Shawn Vandenberg told the hearing investigator […]