A Curry County grand jury on Friday indicted Larry “Jake” Lucero, 38, of Clovis, in connection with the Dec. 26 slaying of 75-year-old Essie Thomas, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office. The grand jury charged Lucero with first-degree murder; kidnapping; and armed robbery, the release shows.
The case against Dwight Wagner, Essie Thomas’ son, has been stayed pending a forensic evaluation, the release said. Wagner will be evaluated to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. Wagner is charged with first-degree murder, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and is being held in the Curry County Adult Detention Center on a $500,000 cash-only bond.
Lucero is expected to be arraigned Wednesday on the indictment before District Judge Teddy L. Hartley. He is being held at the Curry County Adult Detention Center without bond.
District Attorney Matt Chandler said last week there was evidence that both Wagner and Lucero were involved in the slaying of Thomas, who died as a result of blunt trauma.
A Curry County jury on Friday found a Clovis man guilty of criminal sexual penetration of a girl under 13 and possession of child pornography, among other charges, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office.
Derrick Vincent Ervin, 27, faces a maximum of 61 years in prison and will be sentenced after undergoing a 60-day evaluation at the New Mexico Department of Corrections, the press release shows.
The trial began Wednesday, and was prosecuted by Chandler and Deputy District Attorney Donna Mowrer.
Officials with the Clovis Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations testified for the state.
Ervin was also found guilty of the following charges: criminal sexual contact of a child under 13, five counts; tampering with evidence; and sexual exploitation of children by manufacturing, 14 counts.
Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ news editor Mike Linn. He can be contacted at 763-6991 or: