State upholds confinement in killing case

The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has upheld a Clovis man’s confinement to a mental health facility for the beating death of his 75-year-old mother in 2004.

In an unanimous opinion issued Monday, the court affirmed a district judge’s determination that there was clear and convincing evidence that Dwight Wagner deliberately intended to kill his mother, Essie Thomas.

Wagner had been found incompetent to stand trial.

State District Judge Stephen Quinn ordered Wagner in 2007 to be confined in a secure mental health facility for at least 30 years, which is equivalent to a sentence of life imprisonment that’s given for first-degree murder.