DA, jail administrator at odds on furloughs

Sharna Johnson A weekend medical furlough that ended with an inmate leading police on a high-speed chase through Curry County is an example of jail officials acting outside the scope of their duties, according to the district attorney. But the jail administrator says it’s ultimately up to the judge. Justin Steelman, 32, was released April […]

Teens arraigned in Portales shooting

Freedom New Mexico The Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office is reviewing whether to file a notice of intent to seek adult sanctions against two juveniles charged in connection with the April 17 shooting death of 25-year-old Jose Alfredo Charize Montoya. Deputy District Attorney Donna Mowrer said 16-year-old Erick Pina, who police say pulled the trigger, […]

Tucumcari police officer to attend anger management classes

Freedom New Mexico A Tucumcari police officer charged with assaulting his wife over text messages to another man will attend anger management classes. Robert Vargas agreed to attend anger management classes on March 31, according to court documents. Vargas must complete the anger management classes before a pre-trial conference set for Sept. 29, according to […]

Steelman recaptured

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Steelman’s vehicle was rammed by a sheriff’s deputy vehicle to force him to a stop. Liliana Castillo Curry County Detention Center absconder Justin Steelman, 32, was recaptured after leading police on a high speed chase today from Clovis to Farwell, according to Undersheriff Wesley Waller. The Curry County sheriff’s office […]

Tucumcari suspect arraigned

Freedom New Mexico A man accused of killing two men in a Tucumcari hotel was arraigned Tuesday in the Quay County Magistrate Court. Muziwokuthula Madonda appeared before Magistrate Judge Joel Garnett via closed circuit television from the Quay County Detention Center. Madonda is charged with for two open counts of murder and one count of […]

Clovis shooting victim dies

CNJ staff A 26-year-old Clovis man died Tuesday from wounds received in a shooting last week. Daniel Perez died at 9:15 a.m. (CST) at a Lubbock hospital, according to Undersheriff Wesley Waller. Perez’ death marks the first homicide of the year in Curry County. Police records indicate deputies were dispatched around 11:30 p.m. April 13 […]

Clovis man convicted of burglary

CNJ staff Jeremiah Mascarenas, 31, of Clovis was convicted Monday of burglary and resisting an officer and ordered to serve five years in prison. According to a release from District Attorney Matt Chandler, Mascarenas was found inside a home June 4 while committing a theft. Officials said Mascarenas ran out the back door, leading officers […]

Man arrested in Tucumcari slayings also suspect in Ohio deaths

Freedom New Mexico New Mexico State Police said Friday that a man accused of killing two men in a Tucumcari hotel is also a suspect in two Ohio slayings. Muziwokuthula Madonda, 33 of Chicago, is awaiting extradition from Conroe, Texas. He is charged with two open counts of murder and tampering with evidence connected to […]

Jail officials compiling inmate costs for state reimbursement

Sharna Johnson The state is paying less than the costs its inmates incur at the Curry County jail based on recent calculations by jail administrators, who are trying to compile data to get reimbursed. In one quarter last year — from January to April 2010 — the cost of housing 19 inmates locally for the […]

Police seeking warrant for man who eluded arrest

CNJ staff Clovis police are seeking a warrant for a man they say eluded arrest Wednesday night and fled after getting his vehicle stuck in a field east of Clovis. Around 9 p.m. in the 1800 block of Mabry Drive, Chief Steve Sanders said his officers spotted a man they knew to have an outstanding […]

Tucumcari suspect awaiting extradition

Freedom New Mexico A man suspected of killing two Tucumcari men in a hotel awaits extradition from Conroe, Texas. Muziwokuthula Madonda, 33, of Chicago, waived extradition Thursday morning in a Montgomery County, Texas, courtroom, Montgomery County officials said. The Quay County Sheriff’s Office will transport Madonda to Tucumcari, where he will stand trial on two […]

Slaying suspect rented hotel room next to victims

Freedom New Mexico A man suspected of killing two Tucumcari men in a hotel was renting the hotel room next door to the two men found fatally shot, according to New Mexico State Police Agent Joshua J. Armijo’s affidavit. Gabriel Baca, 37, and Bobby Gonzales, 57, both of Tucumcari, were found dead on March 24 […]

Police arrest suspect in Tucumcari shooting

Russell Anglin The New Mexico State Police have arrested a man suspected of shooting two Tucumcari men, according to a police press release. Muziwokuthula “Muzie” Madonda, 33, of Chicago, was arrested Monday on two open counts of murder and tampering with evidence in relation to the deaths of Gabriel Baca, 37, and Bobby Gonzales, 57, […]

Clovis police investigating home invasion

Freedom New Mexico Clovis police are investigating a home invasion Thursday in which a 72-year-old woman was robbed. Police were called to a residence in the 300 block of Axtell Street just after 10 p.m. A woman told them males she believed to be teenagers approached her from behind in her home and instructed her […]

State police investigating two deaths in Tucumcari

Freedom New Mexico New Mexico State Police are investigating the deaths of two men at a Tucumcari motel, where officers suspect foul play. “At this time we consider the two deaths to be suspicious,” said State Police Capt. Jimmy Glascock. Glascock said the bodies were found Thursday in a hotel room at the Tucumcari Inn […]

Fort Sumner man killed in crash

CNJ staff A 50-year-old Fort Sumner man was killed Thursday morning when his car crashed into a trailer that blocked U.S. 60/84 after becoming detached from a semi-truck. Felix Chavez was pronounced dead at the scene, according to State Police Capt. Jimmy Glascock. The crash occurred before sunrise around 5:30 a.m. Chavez was driving a […]

Police chief says he’s pleased with citizen involvement in preventing crime

Sharna Johnson Clovis citizens get an “atta boy” from Police Chief Steve Sanders, who said a reduction in violent crimes for the second year in a row shows proactive citizen involvement is helping keep Clovis safe. In 2010 violent felony crimes —murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — dropped by 9 percent in Clovis and […]

Police chief: 2010 ‘status quo’ year

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MCT illustration Kevin Wilson The Clovis Police Department released its annual report, a catalog of 2010 that Chief Steve Sanders said was a “status quo” report. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job in addressing some issues with our property and persons crime.” Areas that are up — a 1 percent increase in calls […]

Committees, officials discuss jail solutions

Kevin Wilson A lengthy back-and-forth between citizens and county officials made it evident there are no easy solutions to Curry County’s jail issues. Inexpensive solutions seemed just as rare. Members of three citizens committees met for nearly three hours Saturday morning at the Clovis-Carver Public Library, with discussions about the challenges the county faces in […]

Crash reports available online

CNJ staff The Clovis Police Department has made crash reports available for purchase by the public over the Internet. Available Friday, crash reports can now be purchased within 24 hours of being scanned by records personnel, according to a press release from police. Each year nearly 1,500 crash reports are filed by records staff, with […]