Cop shooting trial delayed

Cops and Courts The case of Timothy Michael Burke, 51, accused of shooting Detective Keith Bessette of the Clovis Police Department in 2002, had been set for jury trial on Wednesday but has been postponed to an undetermined date. According to 9th Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter, the case was postponed due to difficulties in […]

Quay attorney: Jailer to be arraigned monday

By William Thompson TUCUMCARI — Robert Gonzales, the Quay County detention center employee charged with criminal sexual conduct involving minors, will be arraigned in 10th Judicial District Court soon, according to Nancy English, an attorney for the district attorney’s office. Gonzales faces two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and two counts of […]

Melrose man goes on trial in 2001 death of secretary

By Darrell Todd Maurina Curry County jurors will be asked this week to determine if Harry L. Downey, 70, of Melrose, is responsible for the 2001 death of Anna Beth Austin, the secretary for Curry County Manager Geneva Cooper. The key question, prosecutors and defense attorneys agree, is whether Downey was intoxicated at the time […]

Three female detainees accuse jailer of sex crimes

By Ryan Lengerich TUCUMCARI — A Quay County Juvenile Detention Center officer was arrested Monday and charged with sex-related crimes against three juvenile detainees, police said. Robert Gonzales, 27, of Tucumcari was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor, […]

Vandals shooting out car windows in Clovis

By Darrell Todd Maurina Someone enjoys shooting out car windows in Clovis, according to Clovis police. Capt. Leon Morris of the Clovis Police Department said Curry County Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for shooting at 45 cars between […]

Legacy of girl scout icon should endure

Letters to the editor/Thank you letters In 1947, I came to Clovis as the first executive secretary of a new area in Girl Scouting. It consisted of Clovis, Fort Sumner, Tucumcari and Muleshoe. My office was in the Girl Scouts Little House and I have many pleasant memories of activities there — Girl Scout meetings, […]

Police Blotter 10/24

Samplings of recent calls received by Clovis-area law enforcement officers, according to reports: Police responded about 4 a.m. Saturday to a reported rollover crash with injuries at a store parking lot entrance. Two men were standing next to a black Honda on its side in a large drainage area north of Llano Estacado. The driver […]

DA opts for closed grand jury hearings in child-sex cases

By Darrell Todd Maurina Three people accused of involvement with a group that engaged in sex with preteen girls won’t face preliminary hearings this week. Instead, the district attorney’s office has opted to conduct closed grand jury hearings in their cases. Under New Mexico law, district attorneys have several methods to present evidence showing probable […]

Sex ring suspects’ previous charges include traffic violations and drug possession.

CNJ STAFF New Mexico’s computerized criminal case records date to 1997, with some records before that. Here are recorded histories involving those named in connection with Clovis’ child sex ring: Jeanette Martin, 44, charged with child abuse: n No criminal history. Billy Martin, 49, charged with child abuse and criminal sexual contact with a minor […]

Suspects have no prior sex charges

By Darrell Todd Maurina Of the four people named so far in connection with a child sex ring in Clovis, none are listed on the state’s sex offender registry and only one has an extensive criminal history, according to New Mexico computerized case records. The records include convictions dating to 1997 and some before that. […]

Answers to complaints sometimes difficult

Two Clovis News Journal readers complained last week about items published in the police blotter. They felt the information provided was too specific. Our blotter is published three to five times per week, depending on the availability of space and staff. Items typically describe incidents that area law enforcement officers consider criminal, but our blotter […]

Vehicular homicide suspect arraigned

By Gary Mitchell In an emotional arraignment via video Monday, a 32-year-old Clovis man charged with vehicular homicide pleaded for a light bond for his family’s sake. Magistrate Judge Rick Hollis set the bond at $50,000 cash in connection with the death of Bobbie Lynn Sandoval, 39, who was killed Friday while attending a holiday […]

National answer not right

The government-employed airport screener who inspected the contents of your purse or briefcase at the security checkpoint may have a criminal record and either the government doesn’t know that yet, or has found out but hasn’t done anything about it. Chalk it up as a consequence of nationalizing airport security. According to recent media reports, […]