Slaying trial set to begin after multiple delays

PNT Staff Report After multiple delays, the jury trial of a Portales man accused of killing a 19-year-old Portales woman in 2004 is set to begin Monday in Roosevelt County District Court. Richard Baca, 20, of Portales is accused of first-degree murder in the death of Amber Robinson of Portales. He is also charged with […]

Defense attorney seeks new trial

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The defense attorney for a 31-year-old Clovis man convicted of first-degree murder contends his client’s rights were violated when police recorded his phone conversations from jail without his knowledge, according to court records. James Klipstine Jr. filed a six-page motion Thursday in the 9th Judicial District Court asking for a […]

Community involvement key in new programs

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Steve North has a vision for the 9th Judicial District, one he hopes to bring to fruition soon with the implementation of several new programs in Curry and Roosevelt counties. As the new director of the community prosecution initiative for the district attorney’s office, North is working to bring together […]

Fugitive reportedly sighted in area

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A fugitive wanted in connection with the shooting death of a 9-year-old Clovis boy more than a year ago has been spotted in New Mexico recently, area law enforcement officials said. In response, Curry County Crime Stoppers officials more than doubled the reward for information leading to the capture of […]

Indictment given for vehicular homicide

Freedom Newspapers A Curry County grand jury indicted a 21-year-old Clovis man of vehicular homicide Friday in connection with the June death of a city teen, according to the district attorney. Miguel Angel Carrasquedo Hernandez is charged with homicide by vehicle and reckless driving while under the influence of liquor or drugs, 9th Judicial District […]

District attorney acted in best interest of justice

Editorial 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 Mark Karr […]

Portales man sentenced on child sex charges

By Paula Cronic: PNT Staff Writer A Portales man was sentenced to 51 years in prison Tuesday on child sex charges, according to a press release from 9th Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler. Darrell Casillas, 36, of Portales was found guilty by a jury July 18 of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual penetration of […]

District attorneys’ offices moving

By Paula Cronic: PNT Staff Writer The staff of the 9th Judicial District Attorney in Roosevelt and Curry counties will experience a change of scenery by the end of this year, according to a news release from 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. The district attorney’s offices in both Portales and Clovis are moving from […]

Reeb named to 9th Judicial court bench

Freedom Newspapers SANTA FE — David Reeb said he has reached the pinnacle of his career by being appointed by the governor to fill the newly created fourth judge’s position in the 9th Judicial District Court. “I’ve aspired to be a judge since I was in law school,” said the 37-year-old former deputy district attorney […]

Reeb a 10-year veteran of DA’s office

Freedom Newspapers Clovis native Andrea Reeb has worked in the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for 10 years. She is a chief deputy district attorney. Background: Reeb is the daughter of Dr. Nicholas and Ann Rowley of Clovis. She graduated from Clovis High School in 1989. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political […]

Smith case counsel changes third time

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A third attorney has taken over as defense counsel in the death penalty case of a Clovis dentist accused of murdering a 30-year-old mother of two and leaving her body in a rural Curry County ditch. Also, District Attorney Matt Chandler told the court at a hearing Thursday morning he […]

Portales man convicted of sex crimes

Freedom Newspapers A Portales jury late Tuesday convicted a 36-year-old Portales man of eight counts of criminal sex crimes involving a child under the age of 13, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Darrell Casillas, 36, of Portales was convicted of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual penetration and six counts of second-degree […]

Richard Baca trial going through more delays

Tony Parra:PNT Staff Writer A competency hearing for a 20-year-old Portales man accused of killing a Portales teen in 2004 was postponed Monday at the request of the defendant’s court-appointed attorney. Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn pushed back the date of a competency hearing at least 30 days while Richard Baca’s new attorney, Anna […]

Attorneys caution inmates on calls

By WIlliam P. Thompson Portales attorney Nettie Griffin said she understands why Roosevelt County Detention Center officials monitor phone calls placed by inmates. She said she assumes inmates’ calls to their attorneys are not monitored, but tells her jailed clients to be careful anyway. “I absolutely feel confident that the detention center authorities are not […]

Judge allows jailed dentist unrestricted communication

By Sharna Johnson Judge Joe Parker has denied a request by the district attorney’s office to restrict verbal and written communications between homicide suspect James Smith and potential state witnesses. Smith is accused of killing 30-year-old Laura McNaughton in December. After reviewing written arguments from defense attorney Stephen Doerr and 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt […]

D.A. Chandler named Prosecutor of the Year

Freedom Newspapers Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler was named New Mexico Law Enforcement Prosecutor of the Year by the New Mexico Bar Association. The award is given annually to a New Mexico prosecutor “who has gone above and beyond his or her duties as a prosecutor by providing leadership, support and assistance to law […]

Smith’s attorney resigns

By Sharna Johnson The attorney for former Clovis dentist and homicide suspect James Smith filed a motion Wednesday to withdraw from the case, according to court documents. Stephen Doerr cited two reasons for withdrawal in his motion to the court. Doerr stated he was not retained to represent Smith in a death penalty case. He […]

Portales man indicted for embezzlement

By Tony Parra A Portales man faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on charges he embezzled more than $600,000 from the armored car service that employed him. Scott Kirby, 22, was indicted Wednesday. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said he expects additional arrests in the case, but would not elaborate. Portales […]

Smith lawyer wants evidence

By andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers The attorney representing accused killer James Smith on Monday complained to a district court judge that he’s not received evidence in the case, as required by law. Judge Joe Parker ordered prosecutors hand over the requested information by Friday. District Attorney Matt Chandler said he filed notice with the court […]

Smith attorney wants evidence

By Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers The attorney representing accused killer James Smith on Monday complained to a district court judge that he’s not received evidence in the case, as required by law. Judge Joe Parker ordered prosecutors hand over the requested information by Friday. District Attorney Matt Chandler said he filed notice with the court […]