Family will travel for trial

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer The family of Odis and Doris Newman is expected to be in Albuquerque from the opening arguments to the final verdict in the case of a man accused in their deaths. It’s a necessary commitment to her parents, daughter Vickie Dixon of Portales said, as opening arguments are set […]

Jury selection to resume Tuesday in death penalty case

CNJ Staff Jury selection won’t be completed until at least Tuesday in the death penalty case of a Portales man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple. Stanley Bedford, 43, of Portales is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and evidence tampering, and one count of possession of stolen property. The […]

Bedford jury selections continues

Freedom Newspapers Jury selection is still on schedule in the death penalty case of a Portales man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple. Stanley Bedford, 43, of Portales is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and evidence tampering, and one count of possession of stolen property. So far, District Attorney […]

Bedford jury selection continues

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer Jury selection is roughly half finished in the death penalty case of a Portales man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple. Stanley Bedford, 43, of Portales is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping and other lesser charges. As of Wednesday, 100 potential jurors […]

Potential Bedford jurors examined

Staff and wire reports ALBUQUERQUE — Jury selection continued Tuesday in the death-penalty trial of Stanley Bedford, who is accused in the killing of Odis and Doris Newman of Portales. Bedford, 43, of Portales is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and evidence tampering, and one count of possession of stolen […]

Jury finds Baca guilty

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Dr. Ross Zumwalt, a forensic investigator, explains details of an autopsy done on Amber Robinson’s body. (Freedom Newspapers: Karl Terry) By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers A Roosevelt County jury returned a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday in the 2004 death of a 19-year-old Portales woman. Richard Baca, 20, was accused of beating Amber […]

Charging Libby, who didn’t leak identity, off target

By Freedom Newspapers Nobody but daily attendees knows everything the jury does in the I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby case, so we are reluctant to criticize the seven women and four men who found him guilty on four of five counts related to obstruction of justice and lying to investigators and a grand jury. The more […]

Portales mother’s hearing postponed

Freedom Newspapers A 24-year-old Portales woman charged last week with killing her son will undergo a competency evaluation before going in front of a grand jury, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Teresa K. Gilman was scheduled to appear before a Roosevelt County grand jury Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder or the […]

Bail bondsman acquitted in shooting

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer o Jury agrees bail bondsman was acting in self-defense. The wife, daughter and an employee of a Clovis bondsman accused of crimes against a suspected bail jumper linked hands outside the Curry County Courthouse and huddled shoulder to shoulder, relieved. A jury found Clovis bail bondsman Hank Bayless not […]

Bentley guilty of second-degree murder

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Linda Bentley, left, wife of defendant Jimmy Bentley and Sarah W. Phillips, mother of shooting victim Joseph Phiilips, embrace after the guilty verdict was read Thursday at the Curry County Court House. CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A Clovis jury on Thursday found Jimmy Bentley guilty of second-degree murder […]

Defendant leaves jury hanging

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer A Clovis man who stood trial last week on drug and criminal damage charges disappeared from the courthouse while jurors deliberated his fate, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office. Bernardo Rodriguez disappeared Friday, just before a jury found him guilty of drug possession, possession of […]

Man receives sentence for assault

CNJ Staff A 33-year-old man was sentenced Friday to 12 1/2 years in prison for drug possession and assaulting a police officer, according to a press release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office. David Lopez was found guilty by a jury in May of possession of methamphetamine, assault on a police officer, resisting arrest […]

Cops and courts: Robbery case ends in mistrial

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer • A deadlocked jury in the case of a Clovis man accused of a string of armed robberies in 2003 resulted in a mistrial earlier this month. A jury was unable to reach a verdict on 23 counts against Sammy Guerrrero for a string of robberies he is accused […]

Life in jail prevents blaze of glory for Moussaoui

Freedom Newspapers It is always wise to be cautious in commenting on a trial one has not attended. But from everything we have heard and read, the federal jury in Alexandria, Va., acted appropriately earlier this month when it decided that Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, should spend his life in prison rather than […]

Moussaoui case raises questions on preparedness

Freedom Newspapers It’s hard to feel any sympathy for Zacarias Moussaoui, the French national of Moroccan descent who was deemed eligible for the death penalty by a federal jury Monday for his role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American soil. The jury must now decide whether it will actually impose the death penalty on […]

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. […]

Curry County district court jurors to serve shorter time

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer Judges and lawyers agree justice will be better served now that Curry County jurors serve less time in the 9th Judicial District. The adjustment from three months to one month was made by Curry County District Court Clerk Dianna Hunt because of increased court traffic, and has resulted in […]

Part 1: John Childers, killer who came to Clovis

By Don McAlavy: Local Columnist One of the first real shootouts in Clovis happened on Aug. 15, 1909. That’s one of the first stories I heard when I started writing about Clovis history. Old Tom Pendergrass, the first historian of Clovis, told me the story. He was a lad of 9, who was in the […]

Local Briefs (Jan. 7)

Man indicted by grand jury on murder charges A grand jury indicted Jim Bentley, 71, of Farmington on second-degree murder Friday in connection with the Christmas eve slaying of an Oklahoma man outside a Clovis motel, according to a release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Bentley is accused of shooting Joseph Phillips Jr., […]

Muleshoe man convicted of murder

By Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers MULESHOE — Family members of Vince Simnacher believe justice was served Friday when a Bailey County jury convicted a Muleshoe man of capital murder. Larry Kitchens, 53, was found guilty after 45 minutes of jury deliberation and sentenced to life in prison, according to 287th District Attorney Johnny Actkinson. Actkinson […]