Kerry blundered in choosing VP candidate

CNJ Editorial Perhaps the job itself is not worth a bucket of warm spit, as one of FDR’s vice presidents, John Nance Garner, so famously said. But consider the vice presidents in the last half of the 20th century who went on to become president: Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush. In […]

Teen arraigned in death of woman found in back yard

By Kevin Wilson PORTALES — A Portales teenager was arraigned Thursday morning on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of a Portales woman. Richard Baca, 18, is accused in the April slaying of Amber Robinson, 19. Her body was found in the back yard of the house where Baca lives. Baca was indicted […]

DA race means tough choice

CNJ Editorial T uesday’s primary election ballot features five contested local races. One in particular has created a stir big enough to already have attracted heavy voter turnout. The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Republican primary has spurred about 2,000 Curry and Roosevelt County residents to vote early. The two-Republican race has inspired voter registration increases […]

Clovis man pleads guilty to sex offence

Cops and Courts A Clovis man ended his trial on sex charges Tuesday by agreeing to plead guilty. Thomas Roybal, 32, will go to prison for three years, District Attorney Brett Carter said. Roybal was on trial for three counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor. Carter said the crimes occurred in November 2002 […]

Marine misses court date while in Iraq

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Schmuck: Will not make trial date while in Iraq. By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer John Schmuck is accused of battery in connection with a Clovis bar fight in November of 2002. He didn’t show up for court in April 2003, he didn’t show up for another court date last week and a warrant […]

Homicide cases still active within courts

By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer Ninth Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter says the only recent unsolved homicide in Curry County is that of J.C. Tucker, who was shot to death at his business near Cannon Air Force Base on Sept. 4, 2003. The following cases are still working their way through the court […]

Mock trial team ready for state competition

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Clovis High School senior Vincent Williams cross-examines a witness during the CHS mock trial team’s practice Saturday at the Curry County Courthouse. Williams and the team defended their case against practicing lawyers. (CNJ photo by Eric Kluth) By Ryan Lengerich Clovis High School mock trial team sponsor Therese Pacheco compared the organization to an athletic […]

Cop shooting trial delayed

Cops and Courts The case of Timothy Michael Burke, 51, accused of shooting Detective Keith Bessette of the Clovis Police Department in 2002, had been set for jury trial on Wednesday but has been postponed to an undetermined date. According to 9th Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter, the case was postponed due to difficulties in […]

Trial tabled in triple homicide

By Darrell Todd Maurina MULESHOE — The man charged with capital murder in the Oct. 10 triple slaying of his former wife and two other men had his trial postponed Wednesday morning after prosecutors said they weren’t ready to take the case to trial. Judge Gordon H. Green of the 287th District Court granted the […]

Vehicular homicide case recesses without verdict

By Darrell Todd Maurina The jury in the vehicular homicide trial of Harry L. Downey recessed without a verdict Thursday night after more than two hours of deliberations. Debates about basic facts and the interpretations of those facts have been frequent since the trial began Monday in the courtroom of Judge Stephen Quinn, according to […]

Vehicular homicide trial begins Monday

Cops and Courts 1/25 Melrose resident Harry L. Downey, 70, faces a five-day jury trial beginning Monday on vehicular homicide charges related to the July 31, 2001, death of Anna Beth Austin. Court documents filed by special prosecutor Thomas Rutledge in Curry County District Court also accuse Downey of being intoxicated and driving on the […]

Student Profiles 1/22

Tyrell Northcutt, 17, the son of Todd and Tammy Northcutt, is a senior at Clovis High School. What is your favorite TV show, past and present? M.A.S.H. I love to watch the old reruns. Now, I like to watch Law and Order. What’s so great about your favorite sport? Cross Country is a great sport […]

Trying Saddam: All options have flaws

It is hardly surprising that in such a media-saturated culture many Americans view foreign affairs in a personalized and dramatized fashion. If this were a movie, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the quintessential villain, would be the triumphant end of the story, with the music coming up and viewers assured that the good guys had […]

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 […]

One option for Saddam: justice before new special tribunal

The Associated Press BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. officials said they still haven’t decided what to do with Saddam Hussein now that he’s been captured, but one option is putting him before a special tribunal established just days ago. Iraq’s Governing Council said Saddam would face public trial in Iraq. Iraq’s interim government established a special […]

Sex-crime defendant accepts plea agreement

By Darrell Todd Maurina A 21-year-old accused of sexual assault reported to the Curry County Adult Detention Center Thursday evening for 60 days of sexual offender diagnostic testing. John Jacobs faces up to 18 months in state prison after entering into a plea agreement with prosecutors to one count of attempted criminal sexual penetration. Jacobs […]

Sniper trial brings death penalty back in spotlight

Freedom Newspapers The guilty verdict in the trial of John Allen Muhammad brings back the debate over the death penalty. There can be no justice for the people murdered by John Allen Muhammad in the Washington, D.C., area in October 2002. A jury in Virginia Beach, Va., was right to enter a guilty verdict this […]

Motion to postpone rape trial passes

By Darrell Todd Maurina The trial for a Clovis man accused of rape has been postponed until Feb. 2. John Jacobs’ trial had been scheduled for today and Wednesday in Curry County District Court. Jacobs’ attorney Gerald Baca said he was not prepared for the Clovis trial because he defended Jacobs in a Portales trial […]

Clovis man cleared of rape charge

By Darrell Todd Maurina Editor’s note: This story contains some graphic descriptions that some readers may find objectionable. PORTALES — A Roosevelt County jury late Friday found John Jacobs innocent of raping a fellow Eastern New Mexico University student. The courtroom audience then erupted — some in tears and others in relief. Judge Stephen Quinn […]

Banning media impedes suspects’ right to fair trial

Freedom Newspapers High-profile murder trials by their very nature attract a great deal of attention and interest in a community that has been touched by a heinous crime. Add the murder of children to these types of cases and the sensitivities surrounding these legal proceedings come into clearer focus. We understand and respect that appropriate […]