Homicide defendant testifies to self-defense

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CNJ Staff Photo: Tony BullocksHomicide defendent Jimmy Bentley demonstrates during Wednesday’s trial how he held the pistol the night he shot an Oklahoma man outside a Clovis motel. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Editor’s note: The following report contains a racial slur. Murder defendant Jimmy Bentley on Wednesday adamantly denied using a racial slur […]

Police officer testifies homicide suspect used racial slur

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Homicide defendant Jimmy Bentley, left, and defense attorney Randy Knudson listen to testimony Tuesday afternoon at the Curry County Courthouse. CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks By sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Editor’s note: The following report contains a racial slur. A Christmas Eve murder suspect used a racial slur when he was taken into custody, […]

Shooting witness testifies

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The murder trial of Jimmy Bentley began Monday afternoon after most of the day was spent in jury selection. The only witness to take the stand was a former cab driver who saw the shooting. Wiping tears from his eyes, Richard Barry, 42, identified the man in a photo […]

Cops and courts: Clovis murder trial begins Monday

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The five-day murder trial for Jimmy Bentley is set to begin Monday in the 9th Judicial District Court. Bentley, 72, is accused of shooting and killing Joseph Phillips on Christmas Eve in the parking lot of Econo Lodge on Mabry Drive. Prosecutors have alleged Bentley, a white man, is […]

Court rules: “Lynching Lloyd” is out

By sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Prosecutors cannot reference murder-defendant Jimmy Bentley’s nickname during trial to infer a racial motive for the homicide, according to a ruling filed in district court Thursday. The ruling came after a hearing last week on pretrial arguments in the case. Citing case precedent, Judge Joe Parker ruled prosecutors can […]

July 7, 2006 Public Record

The following marriage licenses were compiled from court records from June 29 through Wednesday: • Theodore Eugene Wyscarver, 52, to Julie Diane Coleman, 43, both of Portales. • William Michael Dillehay, 28, to Yajaira R. Ochoa, 24, both of Phoenix. • Kody Mack Vaughan, 21, to Tatum Ann Thron, 19, both of Portales. • Steven […]

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., […]

Suspect arraigned in motel slaying

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Linda Bentley talks with defense attorney Randy Knudson after Bentley’s husband, homicide suspect Jimmy Bentley, was arraigned Wednesday in Magistrate Court. (Staff photo: Andrew Chavez) By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer Prosecutor Matt Chandler said in court Wednesday the Christmas Eve slaying of a 48-year-old black man may have been racially motivated. The defense attorney […]

City hit with string of violent crimes

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer Clovis recorded its third homicide of the year late Saturday, but that wasn’t the extent of the violence over the Christmas weekend. Clovis Police Lt. James Schoeffel said officers responded to five unrelated violent crimes between Christmas Eve and Christmas night. In addition to the homicide, an attempted armed […]

One dead at Clovis motel

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Clovis Police investigate the scene of a suspicious death Saturday evening at the Econo Lodge on Mabry Drive in Clovis. CNJ Staff photo: Eric Kluth CNJ STAFF Investigators believe the man who died in a Clovis motel parking lot Saturday night did not know his alleged killer, 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Officials […]

Phillips, Charlene Graef

Charlene Graef Phillips, 69, of Clovis died Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005. at Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo. She was born Sept. 1, 1936, to Clayton C. and Edith Williams Graef in Olton, Texas. She married Gene Phillips March 17, 1955, in Olton. She was a financial director for Mental Health Resources, a member of […]

Thanksgiving takeout gaining popularity

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Anita Ruelas, an assistant deli manager at Super Save in Portales, pulls a turkey out of the oven Tuesday night in preparation for Thanksgiving. (Freedom Newspapers: Kevin Wilson) By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer Brownies can be popped in the microwave and ready to eat in minutes. Salad comes in a bag, chopped, washed and […]

Cecil Bunch, Frank Phillips

Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles. Cecil Bunch Date of birth: Dec. 19, 1923 Dates of Service: 1944 to 1946 Hometown: Lindsay, Oklahoma Theater and location of service: Pacific Branch: […]

Officer involved in wreck

CNJ staff A Clovis patrol car driven by officer Bart Phillips was involved in a two-vehicle accident Monday afternoon on Seventh Street. Phillips was traveling westbound on Seventh Street shortly before 5 p.m. when his vehicle was struck in the front passenger side by a woman driving a 1994 GMC pickup, according to Clovis Sgt. […]

Benford, Carrie

Carrie “ShoSho” Benford Services: Have been held. Mrs. Carrie “ShoSho” Benford, 51, of Clovis, died Wednesday, March 2, 2005, at University Medical Center in Lubbock. She was born on Sept. 4, 1953, in LaGrange, Texas. She moved to Clovis in 1954 and worked as a childcare provider. She was a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church. […]

Wildcats wash away Sandia in district opener

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Clovis senior Tigg Bunton throws down a dunk off a pass from Tizrick Phillips during the second half of the Wildcats’ 61-45 win over Sandia on Friday night at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer Clovis boys basketball coach J.D. Isler told his team that other schools in the district didn’t respect […]

Amarillo overtakes Wildcats

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Clovis’ Elliott Hita battles for a loose ball with Amarillo’s Adam Highes on Saturday at Rock Staubus Gym. (CNJ staff photo: Mike Linn) By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer Shot after shot mercilessly caromed off the rim in the final two minutes Saturday night for the Clovis Wildcats. And it didn’t matter who was shooting. […]

Phillips’ shot propels Clovis over Gadsden

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Clovis senior Dominique Easterlin goes by Gadsden’s Manuel Bojorquez in the fourth quarter for two of his game-high 14 points as Clovis beat Gadsden on Friday 37-35. (CNJ staff photo: John Eisel) John Eisel: CNJ sports writer Tizrick Phillips picked a good time to score his only two points of the game. The Clovis senior […]

Wildcats suffer first loss

CNJ staff WOLFFORTH, Texas — A valiant comeback in the final seconds Tuesday fell short when Clovis’ Tizrick Phillips narrowly missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer in an interstate matchup. The 49-47 loss to Frenship is the first of the season for the Clovis Wildcats, who struggled with fouls much of the game. Even so, the […]

Wildcats coast into Artesia championship

CNJ staff Before his team left for the Artesia City of Champions Classic, Clovis coach J.D. Isler wasn’t sure how much he would get out of senior Tizrick Phillips, who was battling the flu. But it was the Artesia Bulldogs who were feeling a little sick Saturday night when Phillips poured in a career-high 18 […]