June 8, 2008 Cops and Courts

Amarillo Homicide Unit Coordinator Lt. Gary Trupe said investigators have been unsuccessful in obtaining the identity of a woman a Clovis convenience store clerk said paid for cigarettes with painted quarters that could be connected to the May beating death of an Amarillo man.

Police believe the person or persons involved in the death may be in possession of a large number of painted quarters stolen from Max Stanhope’s home, Trupe said.

Stanhope, 77 years old and in poor health, was beaten and stabbed, Trupe said.

Anyone with information can call the Amarillo Special Crimes Unit at (806) 378-9468 or Amarillo Crime Stoppers at (806) 374-4400.

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A boy and his sister accused of trying to stab a 7-year-old Clovis girl in April will not face criminal prosecution, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler.

Investigators discovered the boy was 9 years old and what was reported as his 11-year-old sister was actually a 6-year old girl. Both are too young to prosecute under New Mexico law, Chandler said.

According to police reports, the boy and his sister held a 7-year-old neighbor down and stabbed at her with a steak knife, causing superficial wounds.

The mother of the boy asked police for assistance with her son because she said he’s increasingly difficult to deal with, has anger management issues, and is a bad influence on siblings, the police report said.

Chandler said the case was referred to the Children Youth and Families Division and the family will have access to resources.

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The autopsy report for a 20-year-old Clovis man whose body was found in a rural field after he had been missing nearly five days has not yet been completed, according to the sheriff’s department.

Isaac Zarate’s body was found May 19 approximately a mile and a half from the scene of a crash he was involved in May 15.

The preliminary autopsy results listed suicide as the cause of death. The final autopsy will include information such as the results of toxicology screenings and estimated date of death.

Zarate family members said they do not believe he committed suicide.

An official with the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator’s office in Albuquerque said toxicology results, which look for foreign toxins in the body, can take up to eight weeks to be completed.

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

sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com