Mexico native sentenced to 27 years

Freedom New Mexico A man found guilty of kidnapping and raping a Clovis woman in 2010 was sentenced to 27 years in prison Friday, according to a news release from the office of Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler. Jesus Oscar Dominguez, 22, a native of Mexico, was convicted by a Curry County jury in […]

Trial update: Expert says one of three shots fatal for ENMU student

The prosecution in the murder trial of 13-year-old DeAngelo Montoya spent most of Thursday morning questioning key scientific experts in attempt to link the defendant to the death of Angel Vale, 21. A DNA expert testified evidence obtained from one of two plastic cups found in a shed near the scene of the July 22 […]

DNA process should become routine in court

Freedom New Mexico It is possible to see both sides in the difficult case of District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne, in which a divided U.S. Supreme Court recently decided this particular defendant did not have a post-conviction constitutional right to get access to evidence in the state’s possession so he could conduct his own DNA […]

Police waiting on DNA evidence in slaying investigation

CNJ Staff Three weeks after the slaying of a 52-year-old Clovis woman, police are still waiting on lab results for DNA evidence before charging a suspect they have in custody. Friday, Clovis Capt. Patrick Whitney said items of evidence in the case are at a state crime lab waiting to be tested. “We’re down the […]

DNA archiving could incriminate the innocent

Freedom New Mexico Effective Jan. 9, the U.S. government will collect DNA samples from all noncitizens detained by the authorities for any reason and from all people arrested for federal crimes. One can understand the impulse here, given that DNA is a much more reliable identifier than fingerprints and is not subject to change. In […]

Getting away with murder

Staff and wire report National data shows despite the rise of DNA fingerprinting and other “CSI”-style crime-fighting wizardry, more and more people in this country are getting away with murder. FBI figures reviewed show that the homicide clearance rate, as detectives call it, dropped from 91 percent in 1963 —the first year records were kept […]

Caution advised in establishing DNA database

Freedom New Mexico The federal government has announced it will expand its

Ex-Portales resident charged in 1976 Colorado homicide

Karl Terry A former Portales man was arrested in Colorado on Friday after a cold-case homicide lead was developed through a DNA database. Officers from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Clear Creek County, Colo., deputies arrested Ricky Lee Harnish, 52, in connection with the 1976 death of 16-year-old Holly Marie Andrews, a majorette at […]

Novak trial: Forensic expert grilled

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Defense attorneys for a Cannon airman accused of first-degree murder used the expert testimony of prosecution witnesses Tuesday to show forensic evidence collected indicates nothing more than Edward and Kimberly Novak lived in the same house. DNA found under Kimberly Novak’s fingernails was her […]

Experts: No Bedford DNA evidence found

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CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Shoeprint analyst Shirley Garcia shows jurors pictures of shoeprints while District Attorney Matt Chandler asks questions during Thursday’s session of the Stanley Bedford trial in Albuquerque. By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer ALBUQUERQUE — Expert witnesses testified Thursday there was no DNA, fingerprint or shoeprint evidence at various crime scenes […]

Deputy: Newman fire arson

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CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson New Mexico State Police Sgt. Shane Arthur holds a blood-stained throw rug during Wednesday’s session of the Stanley Bedford trial in Albuquerque. Arthur said the rug was found in the laundry room of the Newmans, and the blood is from Odis Newman. By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer ALBUQUERQUE — […]

Defense: Airman’s spouse mistaken target

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A Cannon Air Force Base homicide victim may have been the mistaken target of retaliation against a witness in an unrelated homicide trial, defense attorneys allege. An Article 32 hearing that began Wednesday at the base is the second in the case against Airman Basic Edward Novak II. He […]

DNA important tool in righting wrongs

By Steve Chapman: Syndicated columnist For a prosecutor, DNA analysis can be the best thing in the world. Nothing facilitates a conviction more than biological evidence irrefutably connecting the defendant to the crime through blood, saliva or semen. But DNA analysis can also be the worst thing in the world for prosecutors. It can prove […]

Karr case proves justice system can get it right

By Freedom Newspapers Boulder, Colo., District Attorney Mary Lacy felt the need to explain herself amid questions about whether she should have spent the time and money pursuing a lead that didn’t pan out. The explanation should not have been necessary. Lacy spent an hour and a half last week discussing the arrest of John […]

DNA study bad news for mouse, endangered species list

Freedom Newspapers We’ve seen a lot of nuttiness routinely perpetrated in the name of the Endangered Species Act as a way of protesting the U.S. Senate’s refusal to act on ESA reform this year. One of the most bizarre ESA sagas involves the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse. The story, much like Alice’s Wonderland, just gets […]

Convicted killer asks for delay in sentence

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer A defense attorney says he will ask to delay sentencing for a convicted killer because DNA that hasn’t been processed could prove his client’s innocence. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said the DNA in question would not exonerate Steven Duran of Clovis, who was convicted of a Jan. […]

Q&A: Forensic chief talks bullets, fingerprints, blood

Ann Talbot, 50, is the forensic laboratories bureau chief for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety in Santa Fe. Talbot holds her Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and chemistry and has been the lab’s bureau chief for nine months. Clovis law enforcement officers send bullets, blood and fingerprints to the Santa Fe lab. […]

10/16 Court Dispositions

The following criminal dispositions were filed in the 9th Judicial District Court between Sept. 28 and Oct. 5: • Elias Chaves, 29, pleaded guilty to aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer, to resisting, evading or obstruction of an officer and to possession of marijuana (1 ounce or less). He was ordered to serve probation. […]

Murder trial begins Monday

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer On Monday morning the selection of the jury for the trial of Steven Robert Duran will begin at the 9th District Court in Clovis. Duran, 36, has been charged with murder in connection with the Jan. 13, 2004, shooting death of Ricardo Gallegos. Gary C. Mitchell, Duran’s attorney, said […]

Police handing out DNA kits

CNJ staff The New Mexico State Police will be handing out free DNA sample kits on Friday during a blood drive at the Triangle Ace parking lot. According to police, the DNA sample kits can be used by parents if their children disappear. “It is a way to identify their children if they come up […]