County to pay for slaying suspect’s detention, travel

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer Clovis County commissioners agreed Tuesday to pay for the detention of Lorenzo Chavez at the state correctional facility in Albuquerque. Chavez, 56, was indicted late Friday for first-degree murder in connection with the 1998 shooting death of 47-year-old Daniel Jose Lopez, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler. Chavez currently […]

Education Feature: Inmates focus on further education

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Krystal Sanchez of Clovis works on a poem she is writing for Palabras, a Clovis Community College online publication that showcases art and writing. By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer Krystal Sanchez typed the words of her poem carefully on the computer. Her poem about “thug life” will go in […]

Future of juvenile detention center clouded

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer Curry County could lose its juvenile detention center if it does not add more detention officers, according to jail officials. Newly hired County Manager Lance Pyle said the county did not meet staffing requirements during an annual evaluation last month by the state Children, Youth and Families Department. He […]

Security officer approved for County Courthouse

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer The Curry County Courthouse is adding another facet to its security system — a security officer. Curry County commissioners approved a security officer position for the courthouse during Tuesday’s regular meeting. The District Court will provide $95,000 over the next two fiscal years to pay the salary of a […]

Officers exonerated

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A Curry County grand jury chose Friday not to indict two former detention officers accused of beating an inmate at the Curry County Adult Detention Center. Jeff Aikman, 30, and Bernie Woods, 37, were arrested Feb. 16 and charged with aggravated battery against an inmate at the Curry County […]

Inmate incident investigated

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A Curry County jail official said two inmates received medical treatment following an incident Monday that involved detention officers. Detention Center Chief Deputy Warden Audrey Barriga said the incident is being investigated by the Curry County Sheriff’s office. Barriga said there was a “situation” on Monday morning that involved […]

Guard charged with smuggling

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A Curry County Adult Detention Center officer was arrested Monday, charged with sneaking marijuana and tobacco into the jail, according to the Curry County Sheriff’s Office. Raul Lopez, 23, told investigators he was having financial problems when an inmate offered to pay him to smuggle in the contraband, according […]

Local Roundup: Airman pleads guilty to child abuse

CNJ staff A Cannon airman facing a murder charge pleaded guilty last week to a separate charge of child neglect in a military court, according to Cannon Air Force Base officials. Airman Edward Novak II will serve 15 months of a two-year, five-month sentence of imprisonment and received a bad conduct discharge from the military, […]

Jail employees need supervisors’ support

Letters to the Editor Regarding the Feb. 20 CNJ article headlined “Jail guards arrested in assault:” How is it that a jail inmate can complain he was not handled more delicately by Curry County Adult Detention Center officers and disrupt so many lives? And when these allegations were made by inmate Walter Dixon on Feb. […]

Commission approves all-female facility

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Chief Deputy Warden Audrey Barriga of the Curry County Adult Detention Center explains the changes that will take place to convert the annex into an all-female center. The renovation cost is estimated at $75,000. (CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer Curry County Commissioners approved a re-design of the Curry County […]

Jail guards arrested in assault

By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers Two Curry County Adult Detention Center officers have been charged with battering an inmate, according to court records. Jeff Aikman, 29, and Bernie Woods, 37, were arrested late Friday on charges of aggravated battery, records show. Sheriff’s deputies began investigating a complaint Thursday from 27-year-old Walter Dixon, who said he […]

Investigation launched into alleged inmate abuse

CNJ Staff An investigation has been launched into allegations detention officers at the Curry County Adult Detention Center assaulted a male inmate Wednesday, according to the Curry County Sheriff’s Department. Officials are withholding the inmate’s identity and information about any injuries, citing an ongoing investigation into the matter. Undersheriff Wesley Waller said Friday his office […]

Cops and courts: Hostage-holder gets 10-year sentence

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer A 25-year-old Clovis man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges of holding two women and an infant at gunpoint in March, according to court records and a news release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office. David Michael Coelho was arrested following […]

Officer pleads guilty to bringing drugs to jail

CNJ Staff A former detention officer at the Curry County Adult Detention Center pleaded guilty this week to bringing drugs into the jail, according to a press release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office. Following a 60-day diagnostic evaluation, 30-year-old Damain Pardue will be sentenced. He faces a maximum of 18 months imprisonment, the […]

Commissioners endorse jail plan

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer A corrective action plan put in place in the aftermath of an inmate escape last month earned the stamp of approval of the Curry County Commission. Warden Leslie Johnson detailed policy and procedural changes during Wednesday’s Curry County Commission meeting, which include mandatory visual head counts and better documentation. […]

Cops and Courts: Wal-Mart employees threatened with BB gun

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff A 22-year-old Canyon, Texas, man who threatened Wal-Mart employees with a BB gun was arrested Saturday night outside the store, according to police reports. Police apprehended Aaron Quinones around 5 p.m. behind Wal-Mart. They found a BB gun and a bottle of cognac in his possession, the report said. Quinones […]

Meetings watch: Curry County Commission

Curry County Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. today at the Curry County Courthouse. The following agenda items will be discussed: A new Curry County Commission chairman will be elected to replace Tim Ashley. A new Curry County Commission co-chairman will be elected to replace Commissioner Albin Smith. Leslie Johnson, Curry County Detention Center administrator, […]

Jail events prompt inquiry

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The escape of a prisoner and the stabbing of an inmate in recent days have prompted investigations aimed at Curry County Adult Detention Center staff, according to state and county officials. District Attorney Matt Chandler and Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher on Wednesday called for prompt corrective action to […]

Records: Detention center inmate stabbed

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A Clovis man awaiting trial for homicide was arrested Wednesday in connection with the stabbing of a fellow inmate at the county jail, according to court documents. Demetrio Salas, 21, is accused of stabbing London Word multiple times during an altercation Tuesday afternoon at the Curry County Adult Detention […]

County will track low-risk inmates with GPS satellites

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County will track low-risk inmates with GPS satellites (Staff photo: Andy DeLislie) By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The Curry County Adult Detention Center is implementing an inmate ankle-bracelet program monitoring that officials expect to begin Monday. Why: In an effort to reduce jail overcrowding and cut the cost of housing inmates. How it works: […]