Judge moves molestation trial to Portales

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Attorneys in the case of a Clovis man accused of 116 counts of child molestation agreed Wednesday to postpone and move the trial to Portales. The deal was struck at a morning hearing in 9th Judicial District Court after Judge Stephen Quinn told attorneys he was not inclined to […]

Convicted shooter’s family upset by plea agreement

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CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson John Cameron sits at the defense table with his attorneys Brett Carter, left, and Chandler Blair during a Monday sentencing hearing. Cameron pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and will serve at least 85 percent of an eight and a half year sentence. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Family members […]

Death penalty can be sought in Bedford trial

By Freedom Newspapers District Court Judge Steven Quinn refused to bar the death penalty Friday in the case of a man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple in 2005. Defense attorney Gary Mitchell of Ruidoso argued the constitutionality of the New Mexico death penalty in a broad series of motions heard by the judge […]

Judge: State can pursue death penalty on Bedford

By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers A district court judge ruled Monday the state could pursue the death penalty — at least for now — in the case of a man accused of kidnapping and killing an elderly Portales couple almost two years ago. Prior to Monday’s probable cause hearing, attorneys worked out an agreement that […]

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, […]

Change of venue granted in double-homicide trial

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers PORTALES — Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn on Wednesday granted a defense motion to change the venue of the trial of a Portales man accused of killing his uncle and aunt in March 2004. Defense attorney Jeffrey Jones of Santa Fe argued that people in Clovis and Portales have […]

Trials set for two men accused in Portales killings

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers Trials for two Portales men accused of killing an elderly Portales couple have been tentatively set to take place during June and July. Jerry Fuller, 33, faces two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, one count of tampering with evidence, three counts of assault upon a peace officer […]

Wallace , Novirene

Services: Have been held. Novirene “Dick H.” Wallace, 89, of Clovis, died Monday, March 14, 2005, at Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis. She was born on July 5, 1915, in Killeen, Texas, to John and Dora Shope Hoover. She was an administrative assistant to P.E. and Pearl Jordan, Wesley Quinn, Judge Ernest Lokey, Dee […]

Shooting accomplice receives 15 years

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer A 27-year-old Clovis man who prosecutors said orchestrated the shooting death of another Clovis man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday in an emotionally charged courtroom. Eric Duran pleaded guilty Monday to accessory to second-degree murder. First-degree murder and other lesser charges were dropped in exchange for […]

Convicted shooter sentenced

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer A former Clovis police detective said being in court Monday when the man who shot him was sentenced to a long prison term gave him closure. Keith Bessette was serving a drug warrant in Dec. 6, 2002, when he suffered a bullet wound to his arm in an exchange […]

Second Portales brother arraigned on murder charge

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers A second Portales man was arraigned on first-degree murder charges on Monday in connection with the death of a Portales woman who was found buried in a back yard. Clifford Baca, 20, is accused in the April slaying of Amber Robinson, 19, in the north part of Portales. Baca faces […]

Fleming gets 35 years

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Rocky Fleming, left, 41, speaks with his court-appointed attorney Jim Wilson after being sentenced Friday evening to 35 years in prison on charges he manufactured child pornography. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor A Cannon Air Force Base staff sergeant, charged with five counts of manufacturing child pornography, showed no emotion […]

State awarded control of Clovis nursing home

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor A Clovis doctor spent years operating a local nursing home, months fighting to keep it and minutes accepting a judge’s decision it was gone. But Dr. Ali Ghaffari said the good memories of Buena Vista Nursing Home will linger for a lifetime. District Judge Stephen Quinn on Thursday afternoon […]

Judge’s job is never dull

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District Judge Stephen Quinn enjoys mending fences. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor For 15 years, Judge Stephen Quinn has presided over a myriad of cases in 9th Judicial District Court. Boredom, he said, is as rare as the steaks at a cattlemen’s banquet. “It’s never dull,” said Quinn, who said […]

Project Reader Reaction

Hail Judge Quinn! Plea was wrong District Judge Stephen Quinn on Monday rejected a plea agreement involving a man accused of shooting a Clovis police detective. Keith Bessette has recovered from his wounds and is now working with police in Iraq. Timothy Michael Burke, 52, is paralyzed from the chest down, a result of officers […]

Police shooting suspect denied deal

David Irvin District Judge Stephen Quinn on Monday rejected a plea agreement offered to a man accused of shooting a Clovis police detective. Timothy Michael Burke, 52, is accused of shooting Detective Keith Bessette in December of 2002. Police returned fire, severely injuring Burke, who is now paralyzed from the chest down. Under the agreement […]

Buena Vista attorney says his clients haven’t told their side of story

By Jack King: CNJ STAFF WRITER A temporary administrator testified Monday that Buena Vista Nursing Home had a leaky roof, black mold and a “very dirty” kitchen when she was asked to step in and oversee operations on May 20. But an attorney representing Buena Vista’s owners said his clients’ side of the story has […]

First-degree murder charge dropped in trial

By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer Fernando Garcia no longer faces the possibility of life in prison after prosecutors dropped the most serious charge of first-degree murder for lack of evidence. Deputy District Attorney Bryan McKay told the court on Wednesday that testimony so far hasn’t provided enough evidence to prove Garcia acted intentionally […]

Melrose man sentenced to two years

By Darrell Todd Maurina A 70-year-old farmer from Melrose on Wednesday was sentenced to two years in state prison for vehicular homicide, despite warnings from his attorney that prison time could be a death sentence. District Judge Stephen Quinn decided to go beyond the Department of Corrections’ pre-sentencing recommendation that Harry Downey receive five years […]

Vehicular homicide trial begins Monday

Cops and Courts 1/25 Melrose resident Harry L. Downey, 70, faces a five-day jury trial beginning Monday on vehicular homicide charges related to the July 31, 2001, death of Anna Beth Austin. Court documents filed by special prosecutor Thomas Rutledge in Curry County District Court also accuse Downey of being intoxicated and driving on the […]