The Associated Press
CLOVIS — The fatal shooting of a black man at a motel parking lot in Clovis might have been racially motivated, a prosecutor says.
The white man accused of the slaying is nicknamed “Lynching Lloyd,” District Attorney Matt Chandler said.
Jimmy Bentley, 71, of Farmington, was arraigned Wednesday on an open count of murder and aggravated assault.
Randy Knudson, Bentley’s attorney, said his client is not guilty and might be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He also said a Farmington gun club gave his client the nickname, which was meant to be funny and silly.
Magistrate Richard Hollis maintained bond at $100,000 for Bentley, who has been held in the Curry County Detention Center since Christmas Day.
Joseph Phillips, 48, a photograph package salesman from Oklahoma, was staying at the motel when he was killed Christmas Eve, authorities said.
Bentley has no criminal history of violence and is not fit to stand trial, Knudson told Hollis.
Bentley might have been concerned about drug dealing at the motel and might have been worried about his safety just before the shooting, Knudson said.
Bentley has acted disoriented in telephone calls he has made since his arrest and is not clear that he is in Clovis, Knudson said.