On the shelves

8th Confession is the exhilarating newest chapter in the Women’s Murder Club series serving up a double dose of twists and revelations.

Man convicted in 1993 ‘Bathtub murder’ to be released from prison

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Editor’s note: Background for this story was compiled from court records, news archives and interviews with law enforcement and family members. After the crime scene tape was long gone, a young woman laid to rest, the dust settled in the courtrooms and the case etched in the law books, [...]

Death penalty allowed in Roosevelt murder case

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By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer A District Court ruling has allowed prosecutors to seek the death penalty in the case of a Roosevelt County man accused of contracting the 2005 shooting death of a county rancher. Tuesday in District Court, Judge Drew Tatum ruled there is probable cause to believe an aggravating circumstance, namely [...]

Roosevelt farmer still faces death penalty

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Even though the death penalty was repealed in New Mexico, a Roosevelt County farmer accused of arranging a murder-for-hire still faces possible execution. Prosecutors filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against William “Billy Joe” Watson last August. Watson is accused of conspiring with the Aryan [...]

Clovis man pleads guilty to first-degree murder

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Just as the jury was about to be seated Monday and opening arguments were set to begin, Albert Ramirez decided to plead guilty and accepted the maximum sentence for the first-degree murder of his mother’s boyfriend. Ramirez, 20, will serve life in prison and forfeited his right to an [...]

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 [...]

Judge adds eight years to murder conviction

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Freedom New Mexico A man convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy will serve 24 years in prison after a judge added eight years to his sentence Wednesday, according to the district attorney’s office. During a bench trial to evaluate sentencing, District Judge Teddy Hartley enhanced the sentence of [...]

Jurors deliberating fate of Edward Salas

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Freedom New Mexico staff writer Sharna Johnson

Prosecution rests in Salas murder trial

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer CLOVIS — The prosecution went through all of its planned witnesses in the trial of Edward Salas — including his mother — before Thursday’s mid-day break and rested shortly after returning from lunch. Salas, 23, faces charges in connection to the Sept. 15, 2005, shooting death of 10-year-old Carlos [...]

Teenage girls give testimony during second day of murder trial

Freedom New Mexico Two teenage girls gave testimony for the prosecution Tuesday morning that placed three brothers and two other men at the apartment complex where 10-year-old Carlos Perez was shot and killed more than two years ago. Melissa Sanchez was the first witness in Day 2 of the first-degree murder trial of Edward Salas, [...]