Sentencing date set for Mesalands president

Sentencing is scheduled Sept. 14 for Mesalands Community College President Phillip Barry, who on Thursday was found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. Barry appeared Thursday before Metro Court Judge Edward L Benavidez in Albuquerque, according to court documents. Barry entered a plea of not guilty. Benavidez found Barry guilty of […]

Press release: Casillas found guilty in 2008 shooting

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler announced that Anthony Casillas, age 23, was found guilty today by a jury for two-counts of First Degree Murder, one-count of Tampering with Evidence, and one-count of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. The trial, which started last Monday, concluded today with closing arguments and jury deliberations. The […]

Casillas found guilty

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Casillas Jared Tucker A Roosevelt County jury on Monday convicted Anthony Casillas of two counts of first-degree murder in the Sept. 25, 2008, shooting deaths of two people on Clovis’ west side. Casillas, 23, shot and killed 52-year-old Gary Payne of Melrose and 36-year-old Melissa Ward of Lubbock while riding in a van on Martin […]

Virtual farm guilty pleasure

Sharna Johnson “Thank you for feeding my chickens.” The words formed in my brain, but I managed to engage the filter right before they made it off the tip of my tongue. Instead I smiled as I passed a professional female acquaintance in the courthouse hallway and kept walking, mentally kicking myself. You see, I […]

Melrose man pleads guilty to child abuse

CNJ staff A 26-year-old Melrose was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to abusing his 3-month-old daughter. Phillip Holmes is required to serve an additional two years of parole upon completion of his sentence and participate in mandatory counseling, according to a press release from the District Attorney Matt Chandler. Holmes […]

Portales jury: Watson not guilty in Chunn slaying

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File photo A Roosevelt County jury has found farmer William “Billy Joe” Watson not guilty of hiring an Aryan Brotherhood member to murder Causey rancher Jimmie Bo Chunn. By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico A Roosevelt County jury has found farmer William “Billy Joe” Watson not guilty of hiring an Aryan Brotherhood member to murder […]

Jury finds Barela guilty

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CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Brandon Barela reads a PowerPoint slide of comments an eyewitness said he made while he was beating Ron Hittson to death in April. Barela faces life plus 33 years for the murder. By Sharna Johnson Brandon Barela’s facial expression didn’t change as the guilty verdict was read Thursday afternoon. After […]

Roosevelt County men fined for poaching

Freedom New Mexico Two men were fined and one sentenced to jail after pleading guilty Oct. 21 to poaching charges. Jacob Gaines, 21, of Roosevelt County was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $2,255 for poaching a deer and antelope. Wade Richardson, 23, of Portales pleaded guilty to unlawful killing of an antelope […]

Taylor pleads guilty to 2005 slaying

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File photo Donald Scott Taylor By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico The man charged with shooting a Causey rancher in 2005 as part of a murder-for-hire drug deal has pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence, avoiding the death penalty. Rogers native Donald Scott Taylor, 29, entered the plea to federal charges in Albuquerque […]

Salisbury homicide suspects enter plea to lesser charges

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Courtesy photo Joshua Martinez By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Three men charged with first-degree murder in the shooting and killing of Clovis second-hand store owner Emmett Salisbury were allowed to pleaded to lesser charges. The decision was part of a July 31 plea agreement with District Attorney Matt Chandler. Larry McClendon, 21, pleaded guilty […]