Decision on jury trial for airman delayed

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A decision on whether a Cannon Air Force Base airman will face a jury trial in connection with his wife’s death has been delayed while more evidence is collected. Investigating officer Lt. Col. Daniel Kiefer agreed Friday to hold Airman Basic Edward Novak II’s Article 32 hearing open for an […]

Novak defense probes agents

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Defense counsel for a Cannon Air Force Base airman charged with murder spent Thursday grilling agents from the Office of Special Investigations about their investigation into the death of Kimberly Novak. Special Agent Mark Brashears testified during the second day of Airman Basic Edward Novak II’s Article 32 hearing […]

Police department break-in remains unsolved

By Freedom Newspapers New Mexico State Police officials will not release details about their continuing investigation of the break-in Thursday night of the Fort Sumner Police Department’s evidence room except to say no cases would be compromised. “No cases will be jeopardized based on what was taken,” said state police spokesman Lt. Rick Anglada. Anglada […]

Victim’s friend details encounter with suspect

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Witness Shelaine Rodich rcounts events of the night before her friend, 19-year-old Amber Robinson, went missing. Robinson’s body was found buried in a back yard in May 2004. (Freedom Newspapers: Karl Terry) By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers Editor’s note: Content in this report may be offensive to some readers. PORTALES — The trial of Richard […]

Ex-CPD officer’s charges reduced

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer A judge reduced criminal charges against a former Clovis police detective from felonies to misdemeanors Wednesday during a probable cause hearing in Curry County Magistrate Court. Keith Farkas, 38, of Clovis was arrested Nov. 9 by state police and charged with felony counts of embezzlement and tampering with evidence. […]

Dentist headed to prison

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James Smith signs a plea agreement Tuesday morning, while CO-Counsel for defense Rebecca Reese,left, looks on. CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Editor’s note: Content in this report may be offensive to some readers. Laura McNaughton’s family had strong words for the Clovis woman’s convicted killer during a sentencing hearing Tuesday […]

Dentist faces death-penalty hearing

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A three-day hearing to determine whether or not prosecutors can seek the death penalty against a Clovis dentist starts Monday, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Chandler said attorneys for both sides will also argue approximately 35 motions before the judge. During the proceedings, known as an […]

Clovis police detective charged with embezzlement

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer A Clovis Police Department detective was arrested Wednesday on charges of embezzlement. He’s accused of using a department computer for personal use. Keith Farkas, 38, of Clovis was arrested by state police and charged with one felony count of embezzlement and one count of tampering with evidence. The arrest […]

New evidence found in slaying

CNJ Staff New evidence was discovered Tuesday in the death penalty case against a Clovis dentist accused of killing a 30-year-old mother of two and leaving her body in a rural ditch, 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Members of the Curry County Major Crimes Unit found the evidence during a search at 316 […]

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 […]

FBI says progress made in bank robbery case

CNJ staff Police have identified a person of interest and are waiting on forensic evidence in a July bank robbery in Clovis, according to Lt. Patrick Whitney of the Clovis Police Department. Police are hopeful they will be able to make an arrest, he said. Bill Elwell, special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s […]

Arrests made in homicide

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John Cameron, 24, was arrested around 3 a.m. today and charged with an open count of murder, according to Clovis police. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A 24-year-old Clovis man has been charged with murder in connection with Monday’s shooting death of a Clovis teen, according to police. John T. Cameron, identified by police […]

Sexual assault tests outpace reports

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer July and August saw a rise in sexual assault examinations performed in Curry County, but officials say they don’t match the number of reported criminal cases. There were 13 exams performed by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in the two-month period — compared with 12 conducted in the first half […]

Murder trial moved

CNJ Staff More than 100 motions have been argued in the homicide cases of two men accused of killing an elderly Portales couple in March 2005, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Included in those motions was the decision last week to move Stanley Bedford’s trial to Albuquerque, Chandler said. A motion to […]

Mere suspicion no substitute for hard evidence

By Freedom Newspapers Americans have gotten used to the sometimes other worldly decisions that come out of the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which has a reputation as a left-wing hothouse. Yet we can’t recall a decision that the 9th Circuit has recently made that comes close to the lunacy expressed […]

Father anxiously awaits word of trial

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The father of a homicide victim is left anxiously hoping enough evidence was presented at last week’s military hearing at Cannon Air Force to warrant a trial. Donald Bollman traveled from Conway, Ark., to attend the three-day hearing, wanting to see justice for his daughter, Kimberly Novak, who was […]

No-knock ruling will lead to abuse

Freedom Newspapers In Hudson v. Michigan, handed down Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court carved out yet another “drug war exception” to the Fourth Amendment, which was written to protect Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons and homes. Unfortunately, the ruling is likely to lead to more military-style no-knock raids of people’s homes […]

Attorneys agree airman case circumstantial

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The prosecution and defense agreed on one thing at the conclusion of an evidentiary hearing to determine if a Cannon Air Force Base airman should stand trial for murder in connection with his wife’s death: the case hinges on circumstantial evidence. Defense attorney Maj. Shawn Vandenberg told the hearing […]

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 […]

Congress subject to same laws as rest of us

By Steve Chapman: Syndicated columnist The Bush administration has a habit of misreading the Constitution, pushing its powers as far as possible and expecting Congress to meekly go along. But now the House of Representatives has decided to fight back — not by asserting its rightful prerogatives, but by misreading the Constitution, pushing its powers […]