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

1099195034-web-rocky-fleming2-10_31_04.jpg

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

1094356107-SPstephan-quinn2-8_11_04.jpg

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 […]