DNA important tool in righting wrongs

By Steve Chapman: Syndicated columnist For a prosecutor, DNA analysis can be the best thing in the world. Nothing facilitates a conviction more than biological evidence irrefutably connecting the defendant to the crime through blood, saliva or semen. But DNA analysis can also be the worst thing in the world for prosecutors. It can prove […]

Karr case proves justice system can get it right

By Freedom Newspapers Boulder, Colo., District Attorney Mary Lacy felt the need to explain herself amid questions about whether she should have spent the time and money pursuing a lead that didn’t pan out. The explanation should not have been necessary. Lacy spent an hour and a half last week discussing the arrest of John […]

Cops and courts: Clovis murder trial begins Monday

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The five-day murder trial for Jimmy Bentley is set to begin Monday in the 9th Judicial District Court. Bentley, 72, is accused of shooting and killing Joseph Phillips on Christmas Eve in the parking lot of Econo Lodge on Mabry Drive. Prosecutors have alleged Bentley, a white man, is […]

Prosecutors ask for testimony to be excluded

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer Prosecutors asked a judge to exclude testimony of a defense psychiatric expert from the murder trial of Jimmy Bentley during a hearing Friday in the 9th Judicial District Court. District Attorney Matt Chandler gave the court several reasons for wanting Dr. Samuel Roll stricken as a witness, including outdated […]

Accountability good, but Enron trial raises concerns

Freedom Newspapers It’s not particularly surprising that Enron Corp.’s former top two executives, Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Stilling, were found guilty Thursday on most criminal counts that prosecutors brought against them relating to the demise of what was once the nation’s seventh-largest company. Both men face the prospect of spending the rest of their lives […]

Money-laundering charges dismissed in Vigil case

The Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE — The judge hearing the public corruption case against former state Treasurer Robert Vigil on Friday dismissed the four money laundering charges against him. U.S. District Judge James Parker also made a tentative decision to deny a defense motion seeking to throw out all or some extortion counts, and denied the […]

Beat it: Jackson acquitted of all charges

By Linda Deutsch: The Associated Press SANTA MARIA, Calif. — A jury acquitted Michael Jackson on Monday of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor at his Neverland ranch — exonerating the pop star who insisted he was the victim of mother-and-son con artists and a prosecutor with a vendetta. Jurors also acquitted Jackson of getting the […]

DA seeks death penalty in case of Portales couple

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office will seek the death penalty against two men accused of killing an elderly Portales couple earlier this year. Jerry Fuller and Stanley Bedford are accused of kidnapping and killing Odis, 70, and Doris Newman, 69, earlier this year in Portales. The bodies of […]

Clovis man sentenced for molestation

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Derrick Ervin listens to testimony from the victim’s family Wednesday during his sentencing at Curry County Courthouse. Ervin was sentenced to 33 years in prison for sex crimes committed over an 18-month period. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth) By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Editor’s note: The Clovis News Journal has opted to withhold some […]

Melrose man sentenced to 18 years

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer A Melrose man was sentenced to 18 years in prison Monday for sexually assaulting another man in April 2004. A Curry County jury found Steve Woods, 33, guilty in December of criminal sexual penetration, a first-degree felony, and criminal sexual contact and false imprisonment, both fourth degree felonies. The […]