Convicted killer Casillas given consecutive life sentences

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CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Anthony Casillas addresses members of Gary Payne’s family during his sentencing hearing Friday afternoon at the Curry County Courthouse. Casillas was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the 2008 shooting deaths of Payne and Melissa Ward. Kevin Wilson A Curry County judge sentenced Anthony Casillas to a pair of […]

Casillas found guilty

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Casillas Jared Tucker A Roosevelt County jury on Monday convicted Anthony Casillas of two counts of first-degree murder in the Sept. 25, 2008, shooting deaths of two people on Clovis’ west side. Casillas, 23, shot and killed 52-year-old Gary Payne of Melrose and 36-year-old Melissa Ward of Lubbock while riding in a van on Martin […]

Commutation not related to justice

Freedom New Mexico Anti-immigration activists got something of a gift this week when President George W. Bush commuted the sentences of two Border Patrol agents who were convicted for shooting a fleeing drug dealer and tampering with evidence as part of a cover-up. Conservatives in particular had been lobbying for a pardon, but Bush was […]

Local senator proposes drug trafficking bill

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis, has introduced a bill in the state Senate that would mandate five-year minimum sentences for repeat drug trafficking offenders. The bill could be heard on the Senate floor in the next couple of weeks, he said. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said he has […]

Sentencing ruling is first step, not total solution

CNJ staff It is not difficult to criticize the circuitous way the U.S. Supreme Court — acting Wednesday more like a quasi-legislative body than a court — went about downgrading but not quite eliminating the controversial sentencing “guidelines” system Congress set up in 1984. The high court might have created less confusion if it had […]

State monies not allocated for county jails

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A inmate walks through pod 6 as he heads to the recreation room Friday. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth By Glen Seeber: CNJ staff writer Now that New Mexico is no longer a frontier state, when you catch a cattle rustler, it isn’t appropriate to string him up from the nearest tree. You’ve got to […]