Local Roundup: Airman pleads guilty to child abuse

CNJ staff

A Cannon airman facing a murder charge pleaded guilty last week to a separate charge of child neglect in a military court, according to Cannon Air Force Base officials.

Airman Edward Novak II will serve 15 months of a two-year, five-month sentence of imprisonment and received a bad conduct discharge from the military, a Cannon Air Force Base spokesperson said.

A date has not been set for the homicide trial, base officials said.

Novak was charged in March 2006 with child neglect and premeditated murder for the death of his wife.

Kimberly Novak, 20, was found dead in October 2004 in the military housing unit they shared. Officials ruled she died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

According to testimony at an Article 32 hearing, military officials testified Novak’s daughter, under the age of 2 at the time, was found alone in her crib in the military housing unit assigned to Novak.

She was in unsanitary conditions and malnourished, officials testified.

Detention officer charged with battery
A female detention officer at Curry County Adult Detention Center was arrested last week and charged with battery against an inmate, according to a sheriff’s department news release.

June Jorgenson, 43, is out on a $500 bond. The charge is a misdemeanor.
Jorgenson declined to comment Monday afternoon.

A female inmate reported to authorities March 22 Jorgenson pressed her forearm against the inmate’s throat, pinning her against the wall, the release said.

Jorgenson is on paid administrative leave while the jail conducts an administrative investigation, the release said.