Police officer testifies homicide suspect used racial slur

1156912804-8-30-Bentley-trail-2.jpg

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, […]

Prosecutors ask for testimony to be excluded

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer Prosecutors asked a judge to exclude testimony of a defense psychiatric expert from the murder trial of Jimmy Bentley during a hearing Friday in the 9th Judicial District Court. District Attorney Matt Chandler gave the court several reasons for wanting Dr. Samuel Roll stricken as a witness, including outdated […]

Mental care sought for suspect

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer A Clovis judge ruled Tuesday a 72-year-old murder defendant be sent to the Department of Corrections so he may receive psychiatric care while he awaits trial. Jimmy Bentley’s mental condition has deteriorated since being in the jail, according to the testimony of Leslie Johnson, administrator of the Curry County […]

Testimony details crime scene

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Airman Edward Novak II told emergency responders he found his wife dead in an upstairs bathroom with her head inside the toilet, according to testimony Tuesday from an agent with Cannon Air Force Base’ Office of Special Investigations. Special Agent Kelly Siler also said Novak told emergency responders the […]

Proceedings begin in Cannon case

CNJ staff Proceedings began Monday in a Cannon Air Force Base courtroom to determine if a base airman will stand trial for the homicide of his wife. The hearing comes more than 20 months after Kimberly Novak, 20, was found dead at the base home she shared with her husband and young daughter. She died […]

Request to restrict inmate’s contact with witnesses denied

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Judge Joe Parker has denied a request by the district attorney’s office to restrict verbal and written communications between homicide suspect James Smith and potential state witnesses. Smith is accused of killing 30-year-old Laura McNaughton in December. After reviewing written arguments from defense attorney Stephen Doerr and 9th Judicial […]

‘Ghetto preacher’ shares testimony with troubled teens across nation

1134279754-web-Ghetto-Ramos-12_11_05.jpg

Willy “The Ghetto Preacher” Ramos, of Hollywood, Fla., talks with children between preaching sessions during teen youth day Saturday at the Clovis Seventh-Day Adventist Church. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer William “Willy” Ramos, who says he’s known as “the ghetto preacher,” visited Clovis’ Seventh Day Adventist Church from Hollywood, Fla., […]

Testimony shows blood found in suspect’s vehicle

1127886320-web-steve-duran3-9_28_05.jpg

Steven Duran, left, listens to testimony along with his lawyer Gary Mitchell on Tuesday during Duran’s trial in the killing of Ricardo Gallegos at the Curry County Courthouse in Clovis. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer Police found blood in the vehicle of a man accused of killing Ricardo Gallegos early […]

Prosecutor says victim killed friend over money

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer A deputy district attorney told a Curry County jury Monday that Steven Robert Duran went to his friend’s trailer home asking for money. When the friend wouldn’t hand it over, the prosecutor said, Duran killed him. He said Duran, 36, a heroin addict, shot his friend six times, including […]

Defendant in slaying takes stand

1115962714-web-joel-cordova2-5_13_05.jpg

Joel Cordova testifies Thursday in his trial for the slaying of 19-year-old Victor Estrada. Cordova is charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence stemming from the July 26 incident. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer A Clovis man accused of stabbing to death an acquaintance last year took the witness […]