Jan. 13, 2008 Cops and Courts

A sentencing hearing for two men convicted in the slaying of a 10-year-old Clovis boy is scheduled for Monday in Portales.

Demetrio Salas, 22, is facing more than 50 years imprisonment and David Griego, 31, faces up to 19 years imprisonment, Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrea Reeb said.

The hearing will be held at 9 a.m.

During their October trial, Demetrio Salas was convicted of first-degree murder and Griego was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Carlos Perez died from a single gunshot to the head on Sept. 15, 2005.

Prior to District Judge Pro-tem David Bonem determining Salas’ and Griego’s sentences, attorneys will have an opportunity to present their arguments and family members of the victim and defendants will have a chance to make statements to the judge.

Police returned a stolen purse to a Clovis woman after chasing and catching the suspect who snatched it, according to police reports.

An officer was flagged down by witnesses Monday who said a man snatched a woman’s purse in the parking lot of a store in the 700 block of East 21Street, according to the report.

The 81-year-old woman told officers the man grabbed her purse from her and ran away laughing.
With the help of the witnesses, the officers found the suspect and ran after him. An officer tackled him on Commerce Way, according to the report said.

Ricky Garmon, 26, charged with robbery and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, was released on $11,000 bond, jail officials said.

Officers found the purse tucked under Garmon’s shirt.

After eight months of delays and problems, Clovis police are optimistic about launching encrypted radio communications in the near future.

Capt. Patrick Whitney said the encryption technology scrambles police radio transmissions and makes them inaudible on scanners. He said the technology is needed because criminals often use scanners to track police movements.

“We catch burglars all the time that have scanners on them. They know we’re coming,” he said. “We do need to have encryption so the criminal element that have scanners don’t know we’re coming or where we are at.”

Whitney said delays in implementing the program were caused by a combination of pairing the encryption technology with out-of-date communication equipment and by encryption chips that were installed incorrectly by a contractor the manufacturer used.

The department has been working with a local communications specialist to correct the problems. The police basically are starting installation from scratch, he said.

“I can’t put a dollar figure on it,” he said. “It’s more of an inconvenience than anything else.”

The system could be working in the next month or so, Whitney said.

Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. She can be contacted at 763-3431, or by e-mail:
sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com