Judge to review motion in Bedford trial

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor The constitutionality of the death penalty statutes in New Mexico were argued in a pre-trial hearing Monday in the Roosevelt County District courtroom in the case of a man accused of killing a retired Portales couple in 2005. Defense attorney Gary Mitchell of Ruidoso has filed four motions on […]

Official: Prisoner commits suicide

By Sharna Johnson, Freedom Newspapers A convicted felon and a defendant involved in unrelated high-profile local criminal cases committed suicide within the last month, officials said. Scott Kirby, 23, of Portales, sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison in February for his role in the theft of $600,000 from an armored car service, died March […]

Slaying trial set to begin after multiple delays

PNT Staff Report After multiple delays, the jury trial of a Portales man accused of killing a 19-year-old Portales woman in 2004 is set to begin Monday in Roosevelt County District Court. Richard Baca, 20, of Portales is accused of first-degree murder in the death of Amber Robinson of Portales. He is also charged with […]

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 […]

Cannon airman to stand trial

Freedom Newspapers An airman charged with murdering his wife will stand trial, according to a press release from Cannon Air Force Base. Airman Edward Novak II is charged with premeditated murder and child abuse by the military. The decision came after a June evidentiary hearing was held at Cannon to determine if evidence against Novak […]

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 Samuel Roll stricken as a witness, including outdated methods, […]

Richard Baca trial going through more delays

Tony Parra:PNT Staff Writer A competency hearing for a 20-year-old Portales man accused of killing a Portales teen in 2004 was postponed Monday at the request of the defendant’s court-appointed attorney. Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn pushed back the date of a competency hearing at least 30 days while Richard Baca’s new attorney, Anna […]

Judge denies motion to dismiss death penalty

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By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn on Thursday denied defense motions to dismiss the death penalty as a possible sentence and separate the charges of a Portales man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple. Jerry Fuller, 33, is accused of killing his uncle and aunt, Odis and Doris […]

Venue change granted in Fuller trial

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn on Wednesday granted a defense motion to change the venue of the trial of a Portales man accused of killing his uncle and aunt in March 2005. Defense attorney Jeffrey Jones of Santa Fe argued that people in Clovis and Portales have already […]

Garcia embezzlement case proceeds to jury trial

By Tony Parra A plea agreement was set for a Portales woman accused of embezzling more than $138,000 from the New Mexico Higher Education department but the two sides could not come to an agreement and instead the case will go to trial. Ninth Judicial District Judge Joe Parker presided over a scheduled pre-trial agreement […]

Smith’s attorney resigns

By Sharna Johnson The attorney for former Clovis dentist and homicide suspect James Smith filed a motion Wednesday to withdraw from the case, according to court documents. Stephen Doerr cited two reasons for withdrawal in his motion to the court. Doerr stated he was not retained to represent Smith in a death penalty case. He […]

DA concerned about Smith’s witness contact

By Sharna Johnson District Attorney Matt Chandler asked a judge Thursday to stop all communications between a former Clovis dentist and potential state witnesses involved in James Smith’s murder case. Chandler said the conversations could compromise the testimony in Smith’s trial. Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Joe Parker said he will make a ruling on […]

DA to seek death penalty against dentist

By Andy Jackson District Attorney Matt Chandler plans to pursue the death penalty against a former Clovis dentist accused of bludgeoning a woman to death. Chandler said he will seek the death penalty against James Smith, 37, based on state statute and because New Mexico’s sentencing system does not include life without parole. Smith is […]

Murder trial set to begin in Portales

Freedom Newspapers The trial of one of the men accused of first-degree murder of a Portales teen girl begins on Monday in the Roosevelt County District Courthouse. Clifford Baca, 21, will be on trial for the murder of 19-year-old Amber Robinson. Clifford Baca is facing charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and contributing to […]

Murder trial postponed as attorneys wait for evidence

Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers The murder trial of three brothers charged in connection with a 10-year-old boy’s death will be postponed so that attorneys can receive and review forensic evidence. Prosecutor Andrea Reeb asked District Court Judge Joe Parker to push back the trial that had been scheduled for next month to at least May. […]

Bomb scare suspect, former student indicted

Staff Reports A Roosevelt County grand jury indicted a former Eastern New Mexico University student Wednesday on charges related to a recent bomb scare, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Joshua Gilpin, 28, was indicted on charges of possession of an explosive incendiary device, possession of marijuana, larceny and tampering with evidence. Gilpin’s […]

Hussein’s trial should be least important aspect

Freedom Newspapers There’s a certain satisfaction in seeing a brutal tyrant like Saddam Hussein in the judicial dock, on trial for one of the outrageous crimes he committed against the Iraqi people. Ted Carpenter, vice president for defense policy and foreign affairs at the libertarian Cato Institute, said Saddam’s trial has the potential to be […]

Trial dates set in slaying of Portales couple

By Tony Parra A man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple will go on trial a year from now. District Judge Stephen Quinn on Friday set Stanley Bedford’s jury trial for Sept. 5 through Oct. 13 next year. Bedford, 42, is accused of killing Odis Newman, 70, and Doris Newman, 69, in March. Jerry […]

Trial date set for street preacher

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer The trial of a Portales street preacher accused of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest has been set for Jan. 27. Shawn Miller, 33, was arrested on April 17. Roosevelt County Magistrate Court Judge Jane Martin is presiding over the case and presided over Miller’s pre-trial conference on Wednesday afternoon. Miller […]

Aug. 17 Briefs

PNT Staff Continuance filed in pre-trial hearing A continuance was filed, delaying Tuesday’s scheduled pre-trial hearing for Stanley Bedford, one of two men accused of killing Odis and Doris Newman in March. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said that Bedford’s attorney could not be at Tuesday’s hearing because he was slated to be in […]