Legal battles difficult for veterans

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Senate voted on Aug. 3 to allow paid attorneys, for the first time in over a century, to represent veterans in filing disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. “It’s like inviting the wolf into the chicken house,” said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charley Burch. Burch, 74, […]

Civil rights protectionism goes overboard

Ned Cantwell The American Civil Liberties Union is once again astride her black steed, charging around the countryside saving New Mexico from God. Specific target this time is God in sports. Let’s make this clear: There is no place for God in sports. Sports, and we’re talking about big-time college and professional sports, belongs in […]

Area Marine lectures in Portales

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Larry Long of Clovis, who is home between tours in Iraq with the Marines, fields a question from the audience during a visit Thursday afternoon to Valencia Elementary School in Portales. (Freedom Newspapers: Kevin Wilson) By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers PORTALES — Valencia Elementary fifth-graders received a surprise on Thursday afternoon when one of their […]

Former ENMU student gets jail time

COPS AND COURTS District Judge Joe Parker on Friday sentenced a former Eastern New Mexico University student to 19 months in the state Department of Corrections for violating probation, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office. Tiffany Rodgers, 21, was originally ordered to serve six months in jail before being released to […]

Sentencing hearing for child pornographer postponed

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Rocky Fleming, left, appeared with his attorney Jim Wilson for his sentencing Tuesday at the Curry County Courthouse. Sentencing was postponed until Friday. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor Sentencing for a Clovis man charged with five counts of manufacturing child pornography was postponed on Tuesday because his lawyer did not […]

Lobo coach scores with athletes

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New Mexico men’s basketball coach Ritchie McKay spoke Monday to the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Clovis High School. (Staff photo: Rick White) By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor Ritchie McKay likens many Christians to youngsters during Halloween, a day in which children pull masks over their faces in the hopes of becoming — […]

Man charged with manufacturing child porn verbally accepts plea

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor A Cannon Air Force Base staff sergeant charged with more than 100 counts of manufacturing child pornography has verbally accepted a plea agreement, defense and prosecuting attorneys said. Rockey Fleming, 40, is accused of paying three girls — ages 13, 15 and 16 — up to $2,000 to have […]

Disagreement arises over ads in DA election

By David Arkin: CNJ correspondent Four prosecutors in the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office claim former colleague Matt Chandler is misrepresenting his record in hopes of being elected on June 1. Chandler said information he’s supplied in fliers and in media advertisements is accurate. He called the prosecutors’ comments “disappointing.” “For this to come out […]

Jury: Innocent of murder

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Fernando Garcia hugs attorney Jim Klipstine Jr. of Hobbs at the Curry County Courthouse after being found not guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence Thursday. Garcia was found guilty of dogfighting. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Darrell Todd Maurina, CNJ STAFF WRITER Dogfight guilt seen by panel Jurors spent two hours trying […]

Trial over but family lacks closure

By Darrell Todd Maurina, CNJ STAFF WRITER Garcia hopes to resume a normal life, feels sorry for Moises Ortiz’s loved ones. Fernando Garcia just wants to move forward. The 20-year-old Clovis resident spent nearly a year in jail, charged with killing Moises Ortiz, before a jury found him innocent of the charge. Garcia had been […]

Jury issues stall trial

By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer Difficulties seating an impartial jury delayed the homicide trial of Fernando Garcia, 20, until late Monday afternoon. But prosecutors and defense attorneys were still able to present brief testimony from two law enforcement officers before adjourning for the evening. Garcia faces charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and […]

Merchant gives up entrapment defense

By Darrell Todd Maurina, CNJ STAFF WRITER Warren Lee Nuckols Jr. waited nearly a year for his day in court to fight a citation for selling tobacco to minors. But on Friday he entered an Alford plea and received a suspended sentence with no fine or prison time and 364 days unsupervised probation. In an […]