Witness: 20-year-old admitted to slaying

Freedom New Mexico A witness told police 20-year-old Randall Jones admitted to beating a 33-year-old Tucumcari woman with a claw hammer, according to court documents released Tuesday. The documents — sworn affidavits filed by New Mexico State Police investigators — say Shirley Pacheco was found dead July 9, lying in a pool of blood next […]

Police say homicide witness changes story

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Gary Gill By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer Investigators say a woman who reported finding the body of Clovis’ latest homicide victim staged the discovery hours later and was actually in the apartment when he was shot. Sometime around midnight Monday or early Tuesday, Jeraldine McCoy told police she heard a gunshot in a back […]

Police: Hittson beaten to death with rock

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A witness described seeing his coworker beat a 51-year-old Tucumcari truck driver to death with a rock in the early morning hours Thursday after the two had an argument. Brandon Barela, 24, is being held at the Curry County Adult Detention Center on a $500,000 bond on an open […]

Oct. 14, 2008 Police Blotter

Samplings of recent calls received by Clovis-area law enforcement officers, according to reports: About 4 p.m. Oct. 4 an officer responded to a residence in the 1000 block of Sunrise Street for an injured subject. Officers learned a male subject had already been transported to the hospital by emergency medical responders. A witness said the […]

First witness takes stand at Salas murder trial

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Edward Salas, 23, listens Monday afternoon at the Curry County Courthouse as Lynn Trujillo testifies on what occurred the night of the shooting. Salas is on trial for the shooting death of 10-year-old Carlos Perez. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer Ruben Perez, the person police have said was the […]

Prosecution witness rebutts defense alternate death theory

Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — A state forensic pathologist said Friday he stood by his opinion in the first-degree murder trial of a Cannon airman that Kimberly Novak died from blunt force trauma and strangulation. Returning to the stand at the request of the jury, Dr. Russell Alexander disagreed with a defense […]

Prosecution witness rebutts defense’s alternative death theory

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — A state forensic pathologist said Friday he stood by his opinion in the first-degree murder trial of a Cannon airman that Kimberly Novak died from blunt force trauma and strangulation. Returning to the stand at the request of the jury, Dr. Russell Alexander disagreed […]

Doctor called back to testify in Novak case

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — A state forensic pathologist who testified for the prosecution in the first-degree murder trial of Airman Basic Edward Novak II will retake the stand and offer further testimony. Dr. Russell Alexander is expected to testify Friday morning. In a hearing Thursday morning outside the […]

Novak verdict paused pending more testimony

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — A state forensic pathologist who testified for the prosecution in the first-degree murder trial of Airman Basic Edward Novak II will retake the stand and offer further testimony. Dr. Russell Alexander is expected to testify Friday morning. In a hearing this Thursday morning outside […]

Novak verdict paused pending more testimony

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CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Jurors in the Novak case continue deliberations while awaiting additional expert testimony. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — A state forensic pathologist who testified for the prosecution in the first-degree murder trial of Airman Basic Edward Novak II will retake the stand and offer further […]

Home safety local concern

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CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson David Cresap, owner of Crosshair Gun Shop in Clovis, said he recommends anyone who purchases a gun attend a safety course. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer There were four incidents reported to Clovis police in August involving residents who confronted suspects on their property. Three ended peacefully. In the […]

Fighter shot, killed in Tucumcari

By Chelle Delaney: Freedom Newspapers A Tucumcari martial-arts fighter was shot to death Thursday night. Police said Albert Jason Pacheco Jr., 31, was killed following a fight on the city’s Main Street, near a gym where fighters were weighing in for a martial-arts event slated for Friday night. The event, called the Desert Xtreme Blood […]

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 […]

Lied to death: Criminals end up victims

By Leonard Pitts Jr.: Syndicated columnist So I read in the paper where another man is about to be lied to death. The first such story I am aware of was published last year in the Houston Chronicle. It concerned a street punk named Ruben Cantu, who was executed in 1993 for shooting two men, […]

Witness: Robber was calm

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer The man who robbed a Clovis bank on Friday morning calmly walked out after leaving what he claimed was a bomb on the counter, according to a witness who asked not to be identified. The device was later determined to be nonexplosive, officials said. The witness, whose identity is […]

Truth exposes fallibility of death penalty

By Leonard Pitts: Syndicated columnist “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” — John 8:32 It’s too late for the truth to be of any help to Ruben Cantu. He was executed by the state of Texas 13 years ago after being convicted in a 1984 robbery and murder that […]

Witness: Disrespect inspired shooting

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer A witness to Clovis’ most recent homicide told police he saw Robert Macias shoot at Wilfred Salas’ car at least two times just before Salas was killed, court records show. Salas, 19, was killed by a single shot to his head on Jan. 15. Macias is charged with an […]

Police search for shooting suspect

CNJ staff Police are searching for a 29-year-old Clovis man suspected of shooting another man in the face Thursday in the 500 block of East Fifth Street. Police have filed an arrest warrant for Robert Totten for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and intimidation of state’s witness. Police […]

Life, grief inevitable

By Clyde Davis On a very rainy and thunder-smitten Friday night, Good Friday to be precise, Dinky slipped quietly out an open gate and made his way to the place where he had decided to die. Normally he would not have ventured into the dark and the storm. He was, however, as dogs sometimes are, […]

Defense: Witness’ stories deviate

By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer Prosecutors began their first full day of presenting witnesses on Tuesday in the case of Fernando Garcia, who is charged with murdering Moises Ortiz during a February 2003 dogfight at Ortiz’s home in south Clovis. The defense attempted to discredit a witness of the alleged crime during questioning, […]