ENMU rally falls short against Regis

By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers Two first-half goals by Regis proved to be the difference Friday, and the Rangers held on for a 2-1 non-conference victory over Eastern New Mexico in men’s soccer at the ENMU pitch. Both teams battled sustained winds of 30 mph during the match, with gusts up to 50 mph. ENMU […]

Newman timeline

Freedom Newspapers March 2, 2005: Officials said someone attempted to use a debit card that belonged to Doris Newman, 69, and identified a car belonging to her and Odis Newman, 70, at a Portales bank in surveillance video. March 3, 2005: Firefighters are called to a car fire southeast of Portales. The remains of Odis […]

Ex-death row inmate speaks in Portales

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers Wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder in 1983, former death row inmate Juan Melendez is devoting his time to speaking out about abolishing the death penalty. “I survived. I’ve always been a survivor,” Melendez, 55, said Wednesday as he related to a small audience at Eastern New Mexico University the circumstances […]

Canadian sport perfected by U.S. Air Force

2nd Lt. George Tobias They swarm around the table pushing and jockeying for position, trying to knock their opponent’s ball into a pocket, “crack” the balls collide. And just as fast, the roles have changed. This was the scene at The Landing on Aug. 18 when a Crud tournament pitted teams from the 27th Mission […]

Fed interference fails to deter future crimes

By Freedom Newspapers Robert Charles Comer wants to take responsibility for the murders, kidnapping, robbery and rape he committed nearly 20 years ago at Arizona’s Apache Lake and face the ultimate punishment — state execution by lethal injection. But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals won’t let him. Instead, a three-judge panel has refused to […]

Motion to dismiss death penalty denied

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn on Thursday denied defense motions to dismiss the death penalty as a possible sentence and separate the charges of a Portales man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple. Jerry Fuller, 33, is accused of killing his uncle and aunt, Odis and Doris Newman, […]

Attorney Mitchell has unenviable job

I’d rather shovel muck at the Farmington race track. I’d rather be the guy who logs Gov. Bill’s flight miles, even though it has to be a backbreaking job. I’d rather be the doctor who says to the teenager, “Sorry, young lady, the test’s positive.” Just don’t make me be Gary Mitchell. In some circles, […]

Attorney steps down in Clovis dentist case

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The attorney for former Clovis dentist and homicide suspect James Smith filed a motion Wednesday to withdraw from the case, according to court documents. Stephen Doerr cited two reasons for withdrawal in his motion to the court. Doerr stated he was not retained to represent Smith in a death […]

DA plans to pursue death penalty against Smith

By Rick White: CNJ managing editor District Attorney Matt Chandler plans to pursue the death penalty against a former Clovis dentist accused of bludgeoning a woman to death. Chandler said he will seek the death penalty against James Smith, 37, based on state statute and because New Mexico’s sentencing system does not include life without […]

Sleep well, death-penalty proponents

By Leonard Pitts: Syndicated Columnist So he’s guilty as charged. Never mind the timeline that some thought made it almost impossible for him to have committed the crime. Never mind the book casting doubt on his culpability. Never mind his death chair declaration: “An innocent man is going to be murdered tonight.” Never mind any […]

Clovis dentist indicted

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer Clovis dentist James Smith was indicted by a grand jury Thursday for the murder, rape and kidnapping of Laura McNaughton and for three counts of tampering with evidence, according to a release from 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Chandler said he will make a decision in 90 days […]

Death penalty shouldn’t be taken lightly

Freedom Newspapers The witnesses to the execution of Stanley “Tookie” Williams were appropriately somber. Ending the life of a human being is not something to be undertaken lightly. The way the state handles such deaths reflects a certain consciousness of how somber the responsibility is. In earlier times, the executioner was hooded, thus retaining some […]

Wildcats dominate 2nd half

CNJ staff ARTESIA — Fueled by what Clovis coach Shaun Gill thought was a bad call, Clovis scored three times in the second half and beat Artesia 3-0 Tuesday in a non-district game. Angel Fernandez scored twice for the Wildcats and Luis Miranda added the other goal. In a scoreless game, Clovis was called for […]

Death penalty rarely holds up against appeals

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office announced Tuesday prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Jerry Fuller and Stanley Bedford, who are accused of kidnapping and killing an elderly Portales couple earlier this year. The chances the two Portales men will actually be executed if convicted is low, officials […]

DA seeks death penalty in case of Portales couple

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office will seek the death penalty against two men accused of killing an elderly Portales couple earlier this year. Jerry Fuller and Stanley Bedford are accused of kidnapping and killing Odis, 70, and Doris Newman, 69, earlier this year in Portales. The bodies of […]

Facing death penalty no deterrent

Tibor Machan: CNJ columnist California’s governor wouldn’t give in. Neither would the U.S. Supreme Court, so Donald Beardslee, who killed two women in 1981 over a drug deal — while supposedly suffering from brain damage — was put to death by lethal injection last month. As reported in the media, Beardslee’s defense attorney claimed Beardslee […]

Greyhounds lose two in Portales

Freedom Newspapers PORTALES — The Eastern New Mexico Hounds lost both their weekend soccer games at home, falling on Friday to Northeastern State 3-0 and Missouri Southern 2-1 Saturday. The Zias, however, defeated Northeastern 3-1 Friday. For the Hounds, Missouri Southern got the game-winner on an ENMU own-goal just over two minutes into the second […]

Lawmakers considering stiffer DWI legislation

David Arkin: CNJ correspondent There’s sweeping support statewide — and especially in eastern New Mexico — for legislation that would implement the harshest penalty yet for DWI offenders. This week, Gov. Bill Richardson threw his support behind a plan that wouldn’t allow DWI offenders to buy alcohol for five years. An offender’s driver’s license would […]

Sniper trial brings death penalty back in spotlight

Freedom Newspapers The guilty verdict in the trial of John Allen Muhammad brings back the debate over the death penalty. There can be no justice for the people murdered by John Allen Muhammad in the Washington, D.C., area in October 2002. A jury in Virginia Beach, Va., was right to enter a guilty verdict this […]

Zias fall to Northeastern in soccer

CNJ STAFF TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Northeastern State got two goals and an assist from Marie Widerman and defeated Eastern New Mexico University 4-1 on Friday in Lone Star Conference women’s soccer. Widerman assisted on a goal by Stacey Cutler just over three minutes into the game, then scored on a penalty kick to give NSU […]