Tucumcari man found guilty of kidnapping, attempted murder

Thomas Garcia

A jury on Wednesday found a Tucumcari man guilty of five felonies including attempted murder and kidnapping. Sentencing has been set for 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Earl Moses Ingram, 31, was silent in the 10th Judicial District Court as Justice Albert J. Mitchell read the jury’s verdicts to close the four-day trial.

The victim, 27-year-old Amber Simpson, Ingram’s ex-girlfriend, cried with her family as they heard the guilty verdict on all charges.

“I’m happy that it is over and justice was served,” Simpson said.

Simpson said she is sad about the impact this event has had on hers and Ingram’s families.

The jury deliberated for three hours before delivering its verdicts.

Ingram was charged with two first-degree felonies, kidnapping and criminal damage to property over $1,000. He was charged with attempted murder, a second-degree felony. He was also charged with two fourth-degree felonies, aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

While facing other charges, Ingram was released from the Quay County Detention Center for a two-week furlough last year and placed on house arrest so he could visit his family. But police said three days after his July 21 release, he beat Simpson and used her car to evade police.

He was arrested nearly three weeks later — Aug. 10 — in a Clovis eatery.

Ingram faces up to 30 years in jail — a mandatory 18-year sentence for the kidnapping, up to nine years in jail for the attempted murder charge and a maximum 18-month sentence for each of the fourth-degree felonies.

“Only the kidnapping charge has a mandatory sentence of 18 years,” said Tim Rose, senior trial attorney. “The sentencing for the rest of the charges will be set by the court.”

Rose declined further comment.

Mitchell dismissed the jury and the victim and her family from the courtroom. He called the councils to his chamber for a conference on the sentencing date.

While the court was in recess, Ingram remained seated at the defendant’s table while his family sat a few feet behind him in the courtroom crying. Ingram turned to his family and told them he expected the verdict because an earlier change of venue request was not granted.

Attempts to contact Ingram and his attorney for comment following the trial were not immediately successful.