Jury selection begins in murder trial

CNJ staff Jury selection begins today for a Clovis man facing first-degree murder and tampering with evidence charges. The charges stem from a July 26 incident, when according to police reports, Joel A. Cordova, 25, stabbed Victor Estrada in the chest during an altercation at 201 Pinon St. Estrada, 19, was taken to Plains Regional […]

Clovis teenager sentenced

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer A Clovis teenager pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday and was sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with the shooting death last year of an acquaintance. Adam Crespin, 19, killed Lavon Harris with a shotgun in the early morning hours of March 3, 2004, at the Clovis […]

Suspect awaits grand jury hearing

Freedom Newspapers PORTALES — Jerry Fuller, one of two Portales residents accused of killing Odis and Doris Newman, is back in Portales and awaits a grand jury hearing today. Fuller, 32, had been hospitalized since March 8, when he was shot by police during his arrest. He was airlifted to Covenant Hospital in Lubbock for […]

Evil more frightening when ordinary

By Leonard Pitts “Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within.” — from a song by the Undisputed Truth Did you search for murder in Dennis Rader’s eyes? I certainly did. He looked disheveled and disgruntled, as anyone might in his or her mug shot. But did you see anything else? An […]

Marine should not face murder charge

by Mona Charen: CNJ columnist Second Lt. Ilario Pantano was making a six-figure income as an energy trader with Goldman Sachs in New York when the World Trade Center was attacked. Pantano had friends who worked in the twin towers and friends among the firefighters who perished trying to save them. ] This Marine veteran, […]

Second Portales brother arraigned on murder charge

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers A second Portales man was arraigned on first-degree murder charges on Monday in connection with the death of a Portales woman who was found buried in a back yard. Clifford Baca, 20, is accused in the April slaying of Amber Robinson, 19, in the north part of Portales. Baca faces […]

Clovis man convicted of two counts of first-degree murder

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Dominic Murphy, seated next to his attorney Abigail Aragon, reacts to the reading of his guilty verdict on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of tampering with evidence in the murder trial. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer A Clovis man found guilty of first-degree murder Saturday exited […]

Second brother charged with murder in April slaying of Portales teen

Freedom Newspapers A second man was indicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the death of a woman whose body was found buried in his back yard. Clifford Baca, 20, also faces charges of tampering with evidence and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with the death of 19-year-old Amber Robinson, according to […]

Drugs, money likely motive

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor A Clovis man charged with killing his mother told police another man actually committed the homicide in an effort to collect on a drug debt. Dwight Wagner, 49, told police that Larry “Jake” Lucero, 38, killed Wagner’s mother, 75-year-old Essie Thomas, after the woman refused to hand over $300 […]

Homicide suspect’s bail request denied

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor A Curry County district judge on Thursday denied a bond-change request for a Clovis man charged with first-degree murder in connection with a January shootout that left one man dead. Eric Duran, 26, of Clovis, charged with driving a vehicle in which two passengers allegedly gunned down 27-year-old Carlos […]