It’s Their Job: Drew Tatum

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By Chris Romero, PNT Correspondent Name: Drew Tatum Job: District Judge, Division II of the 9th Judicial District Background: Tatum grew up in the area and graduated from University of New Mexico with a degree in political science and psychology, then went to law school at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. Afterwards he joined […]

Local Briefs March 18, 2008

AARP chapter to meetThe Portales AARP chapter will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Community Services Center, 1100 Community Way.Steve North of the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will give a program on the Newman Project.The public is welcome to attend. Town hall signup wrapping upRegistration for New Mexico First’s annual statewide town hall, […]

Two more searches in county fair fund investigation

By Sharna Johnson, CNJ staff writer The offices of the Curry County attorney and treasurer were searched Thursday by state police in connection with unaccounted for Curry County Fair funds, according to two search warrants filed in Curry County Magistrate Court. The warrant for County Treasurer Rhonda Bookout’s office specified officers were looking for “all […]

County enacts local fire ban

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor After discussion Tuesday threatened to revisit Roosevelt County’s fire ban ordinance, county commissioners instead put a ban in place utilizing the provisions within the ordinance adopted last year. Commissioner Gene Creighton said he had concerns that the ordinance wording still wasn’t adequate. He felt that verbage providing for local […]

Commissioners use new ordinance to enact fire ban

By Karl Terry, PNT Managing Editor After discussion Tuesday threatened to revisit Roosevelt County’s fire ban ordinance, county commissioners instead put a ban in place utilizing the provisions within the ordinance adopted last year. Commissioner Gene Creighton said he had concerns that the ordinance wording still wasn’t adequate. He felt that verbage providing for local […]

Officials look to curb truancy

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By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Fostering excitement, representatives from the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s office presented a program at Valencia Elementary School that focused on abolishing chronic truancy. “It’s all about the kids,” said Ben Cross, trial attorney with the district attorney’s office. Also in attendance were members of the Portales Rams sports teams, […]

Closing arguments near end in murder trial

Freedom New Mexico The attorney for one of two Clovis men on trial for first-degree murder said even if his client was at the scene during the shooting of a 10-year-old Clovis boy two years ago, his presence alone is not an indication of his guilt. Roger Bargas said during his closing argument Wednesday the […]

Co-defendant refuses to testify in murder trial

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By Karl Terry and Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico A co-defendant in a first-degree murder case backed out on his deal to testify Thursday in Roosevelt County District Court, according to prosecutors. Orlando Salas, a 17-year-old serving a sentence for his connection to the shooting death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy, was also charged with […]

Ex-police chief won’t face charges

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Additional animal cruelty charges against a former Melrose police chief will not be pursued, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler. Mike Trammell, 37, was acquitted June 7 in Magistrate Court on one count of animal cruelty. The District Attorney’s Office was considering filing six charges of animal cruelty in District […]

DA works to abolish truancy

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By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer The Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s office is spearheading the Abolish Chronic Truancy program in an effort to curtail truancy in both Roosevelt and Curry counties. “It definitely is a significant problem in both counties and we are taking steps to prevent it,” said Ninth Judicial Assistant District Attorney Ben […]

Penalty phase will proceed

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers ALBUQUERQUE — An Albuquerque jury on Thursday found murder in the course of kidnapping to be an aggravating circumstance, allowing the state to proceed in seeking the death penalty against Stanley Bedford. If he is given the death penalty, Bedford, 43, would be the third person on New Mexico’s death […]

Penalty phase to begin

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Freedom Newspapers An Albuquerque jury will reconvene today to begin the penalty phase for Stanley Bedford, convicted last week of killing Odis and Doris Newman of Portales. Last Thursday, the jury handed down a guilty verdict for eight charges against Bedford, including two counts each of first-degree murder and kidnapping in connection to the March […]

Former Melrose police chief acquitted of animal cruelty charge

Freedom Newspapers A former Melrose police chief was acquitted Thursday by a Magistrate Court on one count of animal cruelty. Michael Trammell, 37, resigned as police chief in October after he was charged with seven counts of animal cruelty. “He’s pleased to put the matter behind him,” Trammell’s attorney, Tye Harmon said. Harmon said his […]

Fuller testimony key in state’s case

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By Kevin Wilson, Freedom Newspapers ALBUQUERQUE — Jerry Fuller told Albuquerque jurors Stanley Bedford helped him plan and execute a robbery of his aunt and uncle, Odis and Doris Newman of Portales. He also testified that when he realized the Newmans could identify him, it was later Bedford’s idea to kill the couple by burning […]

Jury selection to resume Tuesday in death penalty case

Freedom Newspapers Jury selection won’t be completed until at least Tuesday in the death penalty case of a Portales man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple. Stanley Bedford, 43, of Portales is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and evidence tampering, and one count of possession of stolen property. The […]

Deputy D.A. does double duty

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Christina Tatum lives a double life as a crime fighter. Most days she serves as a deputy district attorney, handling 100 to 200 cases at any given time. She also spends a minimum of 30 days a year as an Air Force Reserve Judge Advocate General officer at Cannon Air […]

Judge to review motion in Bedford trial

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor The constitutionality of the death penalty statutes in New Mexico were argued in a pre-trial hearing Monday in the Roosevelt County District courtroom in the case of a man accused of killing a retired Portales couple in 2005. Defense attorney Gary Mitchell of Ruidoso has filed four motions on […]

Victim’s rights forum set

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers In an effort to acquaint community members with local resources available for crime victims, the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office is hosting a public forum tonight. A panel of representatives from multiple judicial and victim’s services in Roosevelt and Curry counties will be on hand to talk with residents and […]

Scandals signal Gonzales must go

Freedom Newspapers Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should save President Bush the trouble of asking for it — a procedure that obviously pains the president when it come to loyal aides — and submit his resignation immediately. Gonzales may well be a decent person with a compelling personal history. And the position of attorney general has […]

Senior safety project launch scheduled

By Freedom Newspapers The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office will launch a senior citizen safety project at 11 a.m. Monday at Valencia Elementary School in Portales, according to a press release. The program is called “The Newman Project” in honor of Odis and Doris Newman, a Roosevelt County senior citizen couple killed in 2005. Its […]