Novak defense says investigation was one-sided

By Sharna Johnson, Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — The defense attorney in the first-degree murder trial of a Cannon Air Force Base airman said the defendant was the target of a one-sided investigation. The prosecution said during opening arguments late Wednesday afternoon circumstantial evidence will show Edward Novak II strangled and beat […]

Judge to allow re-enactment photos in Novak trial

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico The judge in a murder trial of a Cannon Air Force Base airman said Tuesday she will allow re-enactment photos of the crime scene as evidence. Chief Trial Judge for the Air Force Dawn Eflein said she believes the photos depicting how the body of victim Kimberly Novak, 20, […]

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 […]

Investigator brings science to students

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By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Crime Scene Investigator Steve Halvorson’s passion for his job captivated an audience Wednesday at Eastern New Mexico University. Halvorson, a detective with the Roswell Police Department, has 22 years of experience in the field of law enforcement. He is an expert in the field of fingerprint identification and teaches […]

Clovis homicide still under investigation

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Curry County Sheriff’s investigator Sandy Loomis said he reviews J.C. Tucker’s homicide file frequently in hopes something will spark a new trail. Tucker, 67, was found shot to death Sept. 4, 2003, at Tucker Auto Sales and Tucker Self-Storage on U.S. 60-84 near Cannon Air Force Base. Loomis, lead investigator […]

Bedford case goes to jury

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers ALBUQUERQUE — The fate of Stanley Bedford now lays in the hands of a dozen Albuquerque residents. Jurors began deliberations about 2 p.m. Tuesday following closing arguments of Bedford’s capital murder trial in District Court. Bedford, 43, of Portales is charged with kidnapping and killing Odis and Doris Newman of […]

Homicide case moves toward week two

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers ALBUQUERQUE — One witness has told jurors Stanley Bedford helped him plan and complete the burglary and murders of Odis and Doris Newman, while a former roommate said she overhead Bedford discussing his role in their home. No physical or DNA evidence placing Bedford at the home or in any […]

Witnesses: DNA evidence lacking

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers ALBUQUERQUE — Expert witnesses testified Thursday there was no DNA, fingerprint or shoeprint evidence at various crime scenes to tie capital murder defendant Stanley Bedford to the 2005 deaths of an elderly Portales couple. Prosecutors walked Noreen Purcell, a DNA analyst with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, through […]

Defense: Witness has ulterior motive

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers ALBUQUERQUE — Prosecutors spent Friday walking Jerry Fuller through inconsistencies in his statements made over more than two years about his and Stanley Bedford’s involvement in the deaths of an elderly Portales couple. Jurors heard two witnesses in Albuquerque’s District Court Friday, but nearly all of the second day of […]

Novak case heard

Sharna Johnson: Cannon Connections By Sharna Johnson Cannon Connections 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. Daniel Kiefer agreed May 18 to hold Airman Basic Edward Novak II’s Article […]

Marijuana stolen from Fort Sumner police

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The Fort Sumner police chief said he discovered a break-in of his department’s evidence storage area two weeks ago when he spotted a trail of dried marijuana leaves. Wayne Atchley said dried marijuana plants were stolen May 10 from a batch of about 2,500 plants in the village’s evidence storage […]

Selection continues in Bedford trial

Staff and Wire Reports ALBUQUERQUE — Jury selection continued Tuesday in the trial of Stanley Bedford, who is accused in the killing of Odis and Doris Newman of Portales. Bedford, 43, of Portales is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and evidence tampering and one count of possession of stolen property. […]

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 […]

Police department break-in remains unsolved

By Freedom Newspapers New Mexico State Police officials will not release details about their continuing investigation of the break-in Thursday night of the Fort Sumner Police Department’s evidence room except to say no cases would be compromised. “No cases will be jeopardized based on what was taken,” said state police spokesman Lt. Rick Anglada. Anglada […]

Adcox sentenced for role in embezzlement scheme

Freedom Newspapers A 22-year-old Clovis man was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday for his role in an armored truck embezzlement scheme. Chris Adcox pleaded guilty to receipt of stolen property, harboring a felon, tampering with evidence and five counts of forgery, according to court records. Adcox was the third and final defendant sentenced […]

Friend testifies during trial’s first day

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Editor’s note: Content in this report may be offensive to some readers. The trial of Richard Baca, 20, accused of the murder of a 19-year-old Portales woman, Amber Robinson, got under way Monday with the prosecution calling Robinson’s best friend to the witness stand. Shelaine Rodich testified she and […]

Smith prison bound

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Editor’s note: Content in this report may be offensive to some readers. Laura McNaughton’s family had strong words for the Clovis woman’s convicted killer during a sentencing hearing Tuesday at the Curry County Courthouse. Maria Beardmore, the victim’s mother, asked defense counsel to move so she could see James Smith […]

Dentist enters plea

By Sharna Johnston: Freedom Newspapers A Clovis dentist facing the death penalty in connection with the 2005 slaying of a Clovis mother has reached a plea agreement that will send him to prison for at least 57 years. In a barely audible voice from his seat at the defense table, James Smith answered “yes” as […]

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 […]