Victim’s sister feels justice served

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Homicide defendant Jimmy Bentley sat unflinching Thursday as the judge announced the guilty verdict. Behind the defense table, Bentley’s wife dropped her head in her hands, her shoulders wracked with sobs. Across the courtroom aisle, the sister of shooting victim Joseph Phillips gently rubbed her mother’s back, her face […]

Murder trial for Clovis man delayed

CNJ staff Next week’s first-degree murder trial for a Clovis man will be delayed almost six months, according to the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office. Robert Macias was scheduled for a three-day trial starting Wednesday, but additional days were needed to accommodate more witness testimony than originally planned. The next available date that could be […]

Portales man convicted on sexual charges

Freedom Newspapers A Portales jury late Tuesday convicted a 36-year-old Portales man of eight counts of criminal sex crimes involving a child under the age of 13, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Darrell Casillas, 36, of Portales was convicted of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual penetration and six counts of second-degree […]

Riley awaits sentencing

1150882529-6-21-Riley-Sentencing1.ad_.jpg

CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisleWilliam Riley talks with his attorney, Luis Juarez (right), during his sentencing hearing Tuesday at the Curry County Courthouse. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer A 33-year-old Clovis man convicted by a jury of first-degree murder last month apologized to the victim’s family Tuesday during his sentencing hearing. After hearing arguments […]

Clovis man faces abuse charges

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer A 44-year-old Clovis man was arrested Saturday and faces felony charges after he allegedly chained and beat his daughter for several hours, according to court records. Bryan Storseth is charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a household member, kidnapping and child abuse. His 15-year-old daughter told police […]

Man shot in leg Tuesday afternoon

CNJ staff An adult male was shot in the leg shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday in the vicinity of Grand and Maple streets, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Authorities have declined to identify the victim, citing an ongoing investigation. Chandler said at 9 p.m. Tuesday, police were conducting multiple interviews and had […]

Cops and courts: Robbery case ends in mistrial

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer • A deadlocked jury in the case of a Clovis man accused of a string of armed robberies in 2003 resulted in a mistrial earlier this month. A jury was unable to reach a verdict on 23 counts against Sammy Guerrrero for a string of robberies he is accused […]

Testimony highlights, William Riley trial

• Chris Aultman, friend of the victim, acquaintance of the defendant and driver of the car where Roshawn Pitts was shot, testified Monday about the moments before, during and after the shooting. He described Riley running out of his apartment with a gun and shooting through the windows of Aultman’s car. Aultman said he fled […]

Medical examiner: Shots that killed victim fired at close range

1148448989-5-24-Murder-Trial1.jpg

Chief Medical Investigator Dr. Ross Zumwalt examines a blood-soaked shirt of homicide victim Roshawn Pitts on Tuesday at the Curry County Courthouse. William Riley is accused of killing Pitts. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle) By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A state medical examiner testified Tuesday the shots that killed Roshawn Pitts were fired at close […]

Hostage standoff ends in arrest

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer A Clovis man was arrested early Friday morning for holding his 19-year-old girlfriend captive and assaulting her and a dog, according to Clovis Police Lt. James Schoeffel. The arrest followed a three-hour-long hostage negotiation at victim’s residence at 1113 Prince St. The standoff ended about 4 a.m. Police say […]

Clovis man sentenced for sex with 13-year-old

CNJ STAFF A 29-year-old Clovis man Friday to six years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl, according to a release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The victim told police about the two and a-half month relationship in 2005, and said she met Joe Garcia in 2005 at a […]

Killer given 21 1/2 years

By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent A 23-year-old Clovis man was sentenced Tuesday to 21 1/2 years in prison for his role in an argument over a cigarette lighter that turned deadly. As part of a plea bargain, Mark Madrid pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for shooting and killing Porfirio Gonzales, 52, of Clovis in March […]

Slaying victim may have known killer

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Laura McNaughton was probably not a random homicide victim, Curry County’s undersheriff said on Tuesday. Doug Bowman said investigators are talking to “less than 10” people who may have knowledge about the 30-year-old Clovis woman’s slaying. Bowman said he believes McNaughton may have known her killer. Officials declined again […]

Sexual assault reports released

Freedom Newspapers Editor’s note: This story contains content about a sexual assault that some may find offensive. PORTALES — Portales police on Tuesday released incident reports pertaining to a sexual assault case that may have led to the distribution of fliers warning of a rapist around the campus of Eastern New Mexico University. According to the […]

11/2 Local Roundup

Police: Possible suspect in attack Clovis Police said Tuesday they have a possible suspect in connection with Friday’s attack on a Clovis woman at her home on the 900 block of Connelly Street. Clovis Police Detective Tony Bosque said he is waiting until the victim positively identifies the suspect from a photo line-up before pursuing […]

Abusers are weaklings, cowards who should be punished

Clyde Davis: Local Columnist This is the month of imagined horrors. Goblins, vampires, witches and ghosts occupy our yards, our TV screens, our neighborhoods and our school classrooms. Most of it is done in fun, and we like to scare ourselves. Ironically, October is also domestic violence month, which moves us from the realm of […]

Panelists encourage victims of violence to step forward

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers PORTALES — Panelists from Clovis and Portales used a forum on Thursday evening to encourage victims of domestic violence to step forward. It took Debbie Vinson, a former victim of domestic violence, more than eight years to do it, but she did it. Professionals who deal with domestic violence victims […]

Officials: Domestic violence cases increasing

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers No matter where it happens, victims are left behind in the wake of domestic violence. In Portales and Clovis, many reach out to try and help these victims, including law enforcement officers, church members, shelter workers and district court workers. October is the national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a […]

Murder trial begins Monday

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer On Monday morning the selection of the jury for the trial of Steven Robert Duran will begin at the 9th District Court in Clovis. Duran, 36, has been charged with murder in connection with the Jan. 13, 2004, shooting death of Ricardo Gallegos. Gary C. Mitchell, Duran’s attorney, said […]

Victims Memorial Garden dedicated in Roosevelt County

Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers It was planned as a peaceful place for victims to gather during the multiple stages of a criminal trial and a memorial to victims of crime. The Victims Memorial Garden was dedicated Friday on the grounds of the Roosevelt County Courthouse. On hand for the ceremony were victim’s families as well […]