Cops and Courts: Portales judge makes full-time transition

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers

Last week marked the first full week District Judge Joe Parker served as a full-time judge in Portales, according to court officials.

About 600 cases Parker was assigned to have been divided up among the four judges who remain in Curry County, court clerk Shelly Burger said.

Previously, district judges assigned at the Curry County Courthouse would travel to Portales twice a week to hear cases, Burger said.

There was a need for a full-time judge at the Roosevelt County Courthouse, she said.

“He’s a Causey boy,” she said. “He’s from that area. He was happy to be able to go over there and help that county out. It’s going to work out best for everybody.”

The switch was official May 15, Burger said.

Parker chose to keep only a few cases he had been hearing for a long time and those that were complex, she said. The homicide cases of three men accused of shooting a 10-year-old boy and the recent conviction against a 31-year-old man who is waiting sentencing for shooting a Clovis teen are some he chose to keep, she said.

Divided among judges Stephen Quinn, Teddy Hartley, Robert Orlik and David Reeb were 430 criminal, 87 civil, 76 probate, 40 domestic and 11 adoption cases.

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Police arrested two Clovis residents May 19 on charges of drug manufacturing, according to a Clovis Police Department press release.

Danny Samples, 22, and Patricia Byrd, 31, were arrested after police served a search warrant at 1120 N. Merriwether St. and discovered a half ounce of cocaine, a quarter ounce of marijuana, scales and a large amount of packaging materials for distribution, the release said.

Samples, charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and two counts of possession of marijuana, was released May 20 on $27,000 bond.

Byrd, charged with possession with intent to traffic cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, was released May 21 on $27,000 bond.

Attempts to contact Samples and Byrd were unsuccessful.

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A July 3 hearing has been set for the sentencing of a Clovis man convicted of first-degree murder.

Robert Macias, 31, was convicted by a jury Jan. 30 in the shooting death of Wilfred Salas Jr.

Salas, 19, was shot in the head Jan. 15, 2006, as he drove a car on Merriwether Street.

Macias faces a maximum of life in prison in connection with Salas’ death plus 14 years for shooting at a motor vehicle.

Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. She can be contacted at 763-6991 or:
sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com