Portales ex-deputy chief pleads no contest

lzini0-lzinhc217lonnieberrymug.jpg

Berry Christina Calloway Former Portales Deputy Police Chief Lonnie Berry pleaded no contest Thursday in district court to three charges of tampering with public records. A plea agreement he signed Thursday placed him on 18 months of unsupervised probation. The agreement also required him to pay a $500 restitution fee — the amount of the […]

Tuesday morning briefing: Game of the week, Tween time and copping a plea

Good morning and welcome to the Freedom New Mexico Tuesday briefing. Video game of the week Fresh from our own Jenna Zamie’s desk, the hottest game of the week: Game: Radiant Silvergun Genre: Shoot-‘em-up System: 360 What is it? A classic shooter that proves great core mechanics stand the test of time. ESRB Rating: Teen […]

Roosevelt farmer pleads guilty on drug charges

Argen Duncan In a plea agreement, Roosevelt County farmer William “Billy Joe” Watson has pleaded guilty to transporting anhydrous ammonia for methamphetamine manufacture across state lines. Under federal charges, Watson was accused of buying anhydrous ammonia in Texas and in New Mexico and giving it to federal agents he believed were members of the Aryan […]

Salisbury homicide suspects enter plea to lesser charges

kopdap-821martinezmug.jpg

Courtesy photo Joshua Martinez By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Three men charged with first-degree murder in the shooting and killing of Clovis second-hand store owner Emmett Salisbury were allowed to pleaded to lesser charges. The decision was part of a July 31 plea agreement with District Attorney Matt Chandler. Larry McClendon, 21, pleaded guilty […]

Judge denies plea agreement change

Freedom New Mexico District Judge Teddy Hartley on Friday denied a request to change the terms of a recent plea agreement, District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Cody Banister, 28, of Roosevelt County, in January agreed to a 15-year prison sentence following allegations he manufactured methamphetamine. On Friday, Bannister asked to spend the last two years […]

Clovis man pleads guilty to first-degree murder

ke3xfm-albertramirez.jpg

Albert Ramirez shot and killed his mother’s boyfriend in 2007. CNJ staff writer: Sharna Johnson Just as the jury was about to be seated Monday and opening arguments were set to begin, Albert Ramirez decided to plead guilty and accepted the maximum sentence for the first-degree murder of his mother’s boyfriend. Ramirez, 20, will serve […]

Bookout reaches plea deal

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer Curry County Treasurer Rhonda Bookout entered a no-contest plea Friday morning to a felony charge of tampering with public records. She will serve 12 months unsupervised probation, according to her attorney. Under the terms of the agreement, Bookout must resign as county treasurer immediately. Bookout was indicted in February […]

Plea satisfies victim’s family

1165988957-12-13-Smith-5web.jpg

The sisters of Laura McNaughton, Krystal Beardmore, front, and Jacqueline Beardmore, rear, weep after speaking at the sentencing of James Smith Tuesday at the Curry County Courthouse. (CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer A grain of peace has been given the family of a slain Clovis mother by a Tuesday […]

Armed car service theft suspect signs plea

Freedom Newspapers A 23-year-old Portales man signed a plea agreement last week in connection with the theft in March of more than $600,000 from an armored car service that employed him, according to court documents filed in 9th Judicial District Court in Portales. According to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler, Scott Kirby agreed to […]

Plea reached in 2005 Portales slayings

1160117180-10-6fullerplea.jpg

Freedom Newspapers: Karl TerryJerry Fuller, center, flanked by defense attorneys Jeffrey Jones, right, and Bill Stanton appears Thursday at a plea hearing. Fuller accepted a 127-year sentence for the 2005 slayings of Odis and Doris Newman. By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers PORTALES — Jerry Wayne Fuller avoided a possible death sentence Thursday in connection with […]

Killer given 21 1/2 years

By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent A 23-year-old Clovis man was sentenced Tuesday to 21 1/2 years in prison for his role in an argument over a cigarette lighter that turned deadly. As part of a plea bargain, Mark Madrid pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for shooting and killing Porfirio Gonzales, 52, of Clovis in March […]

Shooting accomplice receives 15 years

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer A 27-year-old Clovis man who prosecutors said orchestrated the shooting death of another Clovis man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday in an emotionally charged courtroom. Eric Duran pleaded guilty Monday to accessory to second-degree murder. First-degree murder and other lesser charges were dropped in exchange for […]

Shooting suspect accepts plea

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor A man accused of shooting a Clovis police detective in December of 2002 signed a plea agreement Friday that could result in a jail sentence of more than 30 years. Timothy Burke, 52, agreed to plead guilty to aggravated battery on a police officer, three counts of aggravated assault […]

Vehicular homicide suspect changes plea

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer A Clovis man who agreed to plead guilty last week to vehicular homicide in connection with the July 4, 2003, death of a Clovis woman changed his plea in court Monday to “no contest,” an official with the district attorney’s office said. Assistant District Attorney Fred Van Soelen said […]

Project Reader Reaction

Hail Judge Quinn! Plea was wrong District Judge Stephen Quinn on Monday rejected a plea agreement involving a man accused of shooting a Clovis police detective. Keith Bessette has recovered from his wounds and is now working with police in Iraq. Timothy Michael Burke, 52, is paralyzed from the chest down, a result of officers […]

Police officer says plea bargain would mean an ‘open season’

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Clovis police officers on Thursday asked District Judge Stephen Quinn to not accept a plea bargain prosecutors have offered a man accused of shooting a city detective. Sgt. Dan Aguilar said giving Timothy Michael Burke, 52, a soft sentence would mean “open season on cops.” Burke is accused of […]

Man charged with manufacturing child porn verbally accepts plea

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor A Cannon Air Force Base staff sergeant charged with more than 100 counts of manufacturing child pornography has verbally accepted a plea agreement, defense and prosecuting attorneys said. Rockey Fleming, 40, is accused of paying three girls — ages 13, 15 and 16 — up to $2,000 to have […]

Airman could face 18 years

By Darrell Todd Maurina Alesia M. Thomas, 22, showed little emotion Tuesday afternoon as she replied in a soft voice to a long list of questions by 9th Judicial District Judge Joe Parker, confirming she understood the terms of a plea bargain. The agreement will put her in state prison for at least 12 years […]

Lawyer for man accused of shooting Clovis police officer requests plea bargain

By Darrell Todd Maurina The lawyer for the man accused of shooting a Clovis police officer in December 2002 asked the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office to offer him a plea bargain during a Monday pretrial conference, District Attorney Brett Carter said. Court records show Timothy Michael Burke, 52, faces charges of aggravated battery upon […]

Clovis man enters homicide plea agreement

By Darrell Todd Maurina One of two men accused in a Feb. 28 double homicide pleaded guilty Monday in Curry County District Court. Joey G. Martinez, 27, of Clovis will serve 29 1/2 years in state prison — with no possibility of parole for 25 years — after pleading guilty to two counts of accessory […]