Curry escapee gets 10 years

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Victor Sotelo, 26,pleaded guilty April 10 to two counts of aggravated battery, aggravated fleeing law enforcement, child abuse and escape from jail. He was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. CNJ staff Five days of ill-gotten freedom, combined with charges that landed him in jail in the first place, have earned one of Clovis’ eight […]

Jail escapee sentenced

CNJ staff The first of eight Aug. 24 jail escapees caught by police is getting another two and a half years behind bars, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office. Victor Apodaca, 40, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of escape from custody and was sentenced as a habitual offender. Apodaca was […]

Two charged for aiding jail escapees

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Courtesy photo Velma Valdez A Clovis couple is charged with helping two escapees, including a convicted child-killer, in the August jail escape. Velma Valdez, 44, and Abundio Valdez, 34, are charged with two counts each of harboring a felon. Abundio Valdez is also charged with two additional counts of assisting in an escape. District Attorney […]

Search for final escapee continues

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Courtesy photo Curry County Adult Detention Center escapee, Louis Chavez, was captured Monday evening in Clovis. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer It’s seven down, one to go. With the capture of Louis Chavez, 19, Monday night at a local grocery store, only convicted child killer Edward Salas remains at large of the eight inmates […]

Pyle responds to jail report findings

The Clovis News Journal asked County Manager Lance Pyle to address the security risk assessment at the Curry County jail. The assessment was conducted in August by Manuel D. Romero of the New Mexico Association of Counties. Here are Pyle’s responses to the report: Overview on the assessment I am concerned with (Clovis News Journal’s) […]

Jail assessment lists multiple deficiencies

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CNJ file photo The Curry County jail has numerous security concerns — including too few detention officers and an “abysmal physical plant design” — according to a security risk assessment conducted by the New Mexico Association of Counties. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Structural deficiencies, outdated policies and procedures and staffing issues are among […]

County Manager Pyle discusses jail assessment

Curry County Manager Lance Pyle answered questions regarding the future of the jail and possible options for correcting deficiencies identified through an assessment dated Sept. 1. The assessment was conducted by a detention expert with the New Mexico Association of Counties. The interview was conducted via e-mail. It has been edited for clarity and grammar. […]

Commissioner Hulder discusses jail assessment

Curry County Commissioner Pete Hulder answered questions regarding the future of the jail and possible options for correcting deficiencies identified through an assessment dated Sept. 1. The assessment was conducted by a detention expert with the New Mexico Association of Counties. The interview was conducted via e-mail. It has been edited for clarity and grammar. […]

Editorial: Taxpayers have right to know jail findings

Freedom New Mexico Reading the Security Risk Assessment report of the Curry County Adult Detention Center, it is evident why some county officials were reluctant to release it. The findings are damning and hint, at best, at incompetence. How could elected and appointed officials have allowed such a shoddy jail to be built back in […]

Oct. 4 Press release: McClendon captured

Re: Capture of Larry McClendon Jr. – Escapee from the Curry County, New Mexico Detention Center. On October 4, 2008 at approximately 10:00 AM, Larry McClendon Jr. was captured by the Amarillo Police Department, US Marshall’s Service and Amarillo SWAT Team in Amarillo, Texas. Tips generated through America’s Most Wanted reported sightings in the Amarillo […]

Jail escapee caught in Amarillo

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Escaped Clovis homicide suspect Larry McClendon Jr. was captured around 10:30 a.m. (CDT) in Amarillo. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff A suspected killer who escaped from the Curry County jail six weeks ago was recaptured Saturday morning in Amarillo. Larry McClendon Jr. was taken into custody after a brief chase around 9 a.m., near an […]

Two of four jail escapees arraigned

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Javier Zapata, one of the Curry County Detention Center escapees, is arraigned Thursday in district court. Zapata is facing more than four years imprisonment for charges stemming from the escape attempt. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Two of four captured Clovis escapees were arraigned Thursday in district court. Javier […]

Report: Escaped inmates had key

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CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo There is no indication the eight inmates who escaped last month from the Curry County Adult Detention Center received inside help from jail staff, District Attorney Matt Chandler said. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Inmates who escaped from the Curry County jail last month may have gained freedom with […]

Reward leading to fugitives’ capture increased

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The rewards for information leading to the capture of two escaped Curry County inmates has been increased, according to the district attorney’s office. The Curry County Crime Stoppers Board decided Friday to offer $5,000 for information leading to the arrests of Edward Salas and Larry McClendon. Salas, 21, is […]

County officials decline comment on jail assessment

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A preliminary independent assessment of the Curry County Adult Detention Center is in but officials aren’t talking about what it says. County commissioners spent more than 2 1/2 hours in a closed, executive session with consultants on Wednesday, discussing the assessment of the jail, which was prompted by an […]

Commission taking wait-and-see approach on jailbreak

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer Curry County residents may be talking about the Aug. 24 escape from the Clovis jail, but the issue is not dominating discussions during County Commission meetings. The issue may not even come up at today’s 9 a.m. meeting, unless a department head chooses to address it. And that’s as […]

Search for escapees ongoing

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The search for four escaped inmates is ongoing a week after eight men cut a hole in the roof of the jail and shimmied up plumbing pipes to freedom. Still at large

Jail administrator position open for applicants

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer County Manager Lance Pyle said the position of Curry County Adult Detention Center administrator would be opened for applicants Wednesday. Pyle said he has also appointed Curry County Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Bessette as interim assistant administrator. Pyle said he decided to post the position because, “it’s in the best […]

County manager: Jail changes in works

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Pod 1 at the Curry County Detention Center was emptied and closed following the escape of eight inmates on Sunday evening. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Curry County Manager Lance Pyle said he plans to reveal an action plan for the adult detention center next week after he evaluates […]

America’s Most Wanted air date changed

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer