A district judge on Thursday denied a motion to drop a misdemeanor embezzlement charge against former Clovis police detective Keith Farkas, who argued the prosecution failed to conduct the trial in a timely manner.
Instead, District Court Judge Robert B. Corn of Roswell set a June 5 date for a jury trial.
Defense attorney Randall Harris argued the case’s six-month limitation for trial will expire Monday.
Corn denied the motion to dismiss, granting an extension to the prosecution. “I’m using my power as judge to stretch the time for 30 days,” he said.
Arguing the law only allows for extreme extenuating circumstances such as the death of a judge or attorney prior to trial and he had not agreed to any of the scheduling delays in the case, Harris said the court should dismiss.
A potential conflict of interest prevented the case from being heard in the local district court.
The prosecution argued the need for an outside judge and prosecutor should be considered extenuating circumstances.
Harris told the court he plans to appeal the decision.
Records show Farkas, 39, admitted to investigators he took a work computer home and used it to print wedding invitations, then returned it. The computer was valued at less than $500.
Farkas was terminated from his position by the city in December.
Evidence room break-in investigated
New Mexico State Police are investigating a break-in into the Fort Sumner Police Department’s evidence room.
State Police spokesman Lt. Rick Anglada said Thursday night the investigation is in the early stages and he didn’t have any details on what was taken or when the break-in occurred.
He described the evidence room as more like a closet.
He said State Police were contacted about 10 a.m. Thursday by Fort Sumner Police Chief Wayne Atchley about the break-in.
“He wanted an outside, impartial investigation,” Anglada said.
A dispatcher for the Fort Sumner PD said she was instructed by Atchley to direct all questions about the incident to state police.