Agent accused of botching investigation

By Sharna Johnson, Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — A special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations was the brunt of defense ire and sarcasm on Wednesday, accused of a botched and careless investigation in the first-degree murder trial of Airman Basic Edward Novak II. Under cross-examination, OSI Agent Thad […]

Jury hears conversation between defendant, mother-in-law

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Edward Novak II told his mother-in-law in a taped conversation played in court Wednesday he didn’t recall what happened the night his wife died. Novak, who is accused of killing his wife in October 2004, also could be heard in the same conversation with […]

Homicide rocks Portales in 2007

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Editor’s note: The following is the second in a four-part series reviewing the top news stories of 2007. This installment deals with April, May and June. A major capital murder trial with some of the most noted attorneys in the state started in late May in Albuquerque and was […]

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 […]

Deputy leaves following investigation

Freedom New Mexico A Curry County Sheriff’s deputy resigned Friday, more than two weeks after he was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into his conduct, according to county officials. Undersheriff Wesley Waller said the administrative investigation had concluded when Larry Garrison voluntarily submitted his resignation. “Deputy Garrison submitted his resignation and it […]

Charges filed against Curry County deputy

Freedom New Mexico Assault and disorderly conduct charges were filed Thursday afternoon against a Curry County Sheriff’s deputy placed on paid administrative leave, according to court records. A woman and her husband said Deputy Larry Garrison verbally assaulted them on Oct. 7, cursing and shouting at them over a car he was attempting to purchase, […]

Sheriff: Progress slow in child death investigation

PNT Staff Report Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker said Tuesday no arrests have been made in the Sept. 6 death of a 9-month-old and the investigation is close to a standstill with reports pending. “We’re still waiting on some stuff from the Office of the Medical Examiner,” Hooker said. Hooker would not comment on what […]

Sheriff categorizes baby’s death as suspicious

PNT Staff Report Law enforcement officials are continuing their investigation into what they are now calling the “suspicious death” of a 9-month-old, according to a news release from the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office. Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker would not comment on why the death is considered suspicious. Hooker said his office is still awaiting […]

Officials investigating child’s death

PNT Staff Report Law officers are investigating the death of a 9-month-old Roosevelt County girl who died Wednesday. Officials will not say if they suspect the child is a victim of homicide. “The cause of death has yet to be determined and the incident is still under investigation,” Roosevelt County Sheriff Daren Hooker said. Hooker […]

Clovis dentist no longer part of inquiry

The Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY — A New Mexico dentist serving life in prison for murder is no longer a “person of interest” in the unsolved killings of several prostitutes in the Lawton area. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said James Smith, who once attended the University of Oklahoma, is no longer […]

Arrests relieve town

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor With arrests made in a two-year-old murder investigation, Causey residents are expressing relief. At the same time they’re sobered by the fact that those accused lived in their tiny community. District Attorney Matt Chandler announced Monday that federal indictments had been handed down against two men from the Causey […]

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 […]

Police arrest man on 859 child pornography charges

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A 45-year-old Clovis man was arrested Friday on 859 child pornography charges following an investigation that took more than a year, according to the Curry County Sheriff’s Department. Elijah McClain of 1300A Arcineiga Drive is being held on a $75,000 bond, according to jail officials. The local investigation took more […]

Tucumcari man charged with murder

Freedom Newspapers A 24-year-old Tucumcari man, Phillip J. Latham, has been charged with murder in connection with Tuesday’s shooting death of Tiffany Throckmorton, according to a news release from the Tucumcari Police Department. Latham, who lives on South Seventh Street, is charged with murder, tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm, the release said. […]

Investigation launched into alleged inmate abuse

Freedom Newspapers An investigation has been launched into allegations detention officers at the Curry County Adult Detention Center assaulted a male inmate Wednesday, according to the Curry County Sheriff’s Department. Officials are withholding the inmate’s identity and information about any injuries, citing an ongoing investigation into the matter. Undersheriff Wesley Waller said Friday his office […]

Man says he fired shot

By Chelle Delaney: Freedom Newspapers A Los Lunas fight promoter says he fired the shot that killed Tucumcari’s Jason Pacheco on Feb. 1. Jim Burleson, in Tucumcari for the Desert Xtreme martial-arts fight scheduled last week, said he fired his .45-caliber gun after Pacheco and others jumped him on Main Street. Pacheco, 31, was taken […]

County launches investigation into jail events

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers CLOVIS — The escape of a prisoner and the stabbing of an inmate in recent days have prompted investigations aimed at Curry County Adult Detention Center officials, according to state and county officials. District Attorney Matt Chandler and Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher on Wednesday called for prompt corrective action […]

Embattled police chief resigns

Freedom Newspapers Facing charges of seven counts of cruelty to animals, Melrose’s police chief resigned Friday, according to the village mayor. Mike Trammell, 36, had been on administrative leave since his Oct. 11 arrest on the charges. Trammell’s wife, Marna Pyle-Trammell, declined comment Friday. Melrose Mayor Lance Pyle said Trammell was not asked to resign. […]

Criminal investigation begun against DPS special agent in Clovis district

By David Stevens A special agent with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety has been placed on administrative leave with pay while authorities conduct a criminal investigation against her, the agent’s attorney said on Tuesday. Delores Ledezma-Pinon, who works with the Special Investigations Division in Clovis, was placed on leave last week, according to […]

Police briefing from Dec. 16

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler announced today that the Major Crimes Unit continues the investigation into the homicide of 30 year-old Laura McNaughton. To further update the media, please be advised that approximately four additional search warrants were served in Curry County today. This makes approximately twenty search warrants that have been served throughout […]