Clovis body identified as 52-year-old

Freedom Newspapers Fingerprints have established the identity of a body discovered in Clovis Tuesday as that of a 52-year-old transient with ties to Arizona and California, according to Clovis police. Howard Payne’s badly decomposed remains were found in an abandoned house near Wal-Mart, according to police. There were no signs of foul play at the […]

Police attempt to ascertain identity of body

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Police are attempting to identify a badly decomposed body found Tuesday morning in an abandoned house near Wal-Mart. There were no immediate signs of foul play, Clovis Police Capt. Patrick Whitney said Tuesday afternoon. However, Whitney said because of the extensive decomposition, only a medical examiner can determine time and […]

McNaughton case slated for feature on Court TV

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The case of a Clovis woman killed by a local dentist will be featured on a nationally televised crime show. In mid-April, family and friends of Laura McNaughton and local law enforcement participated in interviews and investigation reenactments and provided photos for the show “Body of Evidence: From the Case […]

Baca found guilty

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor A Roosevelt County jury returned a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday in the 2004 death of a 19-year-old Portales woman. Richard Baca, 20, was accused of beating Amber Robinson of Portales unconscious in the kitchen of the Baca home and burying her alive in the back yard […]

Driven by history: Man rebuilds family bus

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Driving a bright yellow school bus has been a part of daily life for several generations in the Anthony clan at Elida. An important part of that heritage was recently reclaimed from the prairie dust of eastern New Mexico and has found a home inside the Anthony barn. Fred […]

Pursuit of death penalty OK’d

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Editor’s note: Content in this report may be offensive to some readers. A district judge ruled Monday probable cause exists to pursue the death penalty in the first-degree murder trial of a former Clovis dentist. Ninth Judicial District Judge Joe Parker made the ruling after the prosecution presented testimony Monday […]

Clovis homicide case marks anniversary

By Sharna Johnson, Freedom Newspapers It has been a year since Laura McNaughton’s lifeless body was discovered by hunters in a rural county ditch. That discovery, followed by subsequent news a local dentist had been arrested, deeply affected not only those who knew McNaughton, but many who came to know of her in death. Toni […]

Animal research necessary to medical breakthroughs

By Baxter Black: Humor Columnist There are people who are ennobled by their service to mankind. We think of soldiers, nurses, teachers or ministers whose contributions are recognized daily. Others are national leaders, inventors, Olympic athletes or philanthropists. Their achievements attract laudatory headlines and press. But there are many who toil beneath the radar, who […]

High school pepped for homecoming

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Controlled chaos reigns as the Portales High School Student council prepares for the upcoming activities that will celebrate homecoming week. Choosing the theme, Wild West, the student council has planned theme days for the students, said Bill Strong, a co-sponsor for the PHS student council. “This homecoming is going […]

Parents visit Clovis site where daughter slain

By Sharna Johnson By Sharna Johnson CNJ STAFF WRITER sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com On the edge of a desolate, wind-whipped field stands a small homemade cross wrapped in a pink feather boa. It was placed by a mother and father mourning their daughter. Thursday, for the first time, David and Maria Beardmore visited the ditch where the battered […]

Court records: Suspect tells police McNaughton died at his home

Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers Accused killer James Smith told police Laura McNaughton “died very quickly” at his home after they engaged in a “very physical embrace,” according to court documents unsealed Friday. In an interview with law-enforcement authorities, Smith said he placed McNaughton’s body on his back porch after she died, then went to sleep, […]

Local lady discovers ailments by looking into others eyes

Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers Her home, even from the outside, bears signs of her faith: A stone statue of the Virgin Mary on the porch, a copy of the Ten Commandments in the yard. The theme continues inside. And also with her words. “The human body is a miracle. … God, as the Bible says, […]

No arrest yet in connection to death

By PNT Staff Law enforcement officials said Thursday night no arrests have been made in connection with last week’s death of Bo Chunn, a 71-year-old rancher whose body was found at his home in the village of Causey. Initial investigation revealed Chunn died of a single gunshot wound that came through his window, officials said. […]

Angels in disguise show up when needed

By Helena Rodriguez People will come and go in our lives and I believe the same is true for angels. This is the story of one “guardian angel” — someone who briefly appeared in my life to help me through a difficult time. She was the nurse who took care of me the night I […]

Cornelius ousted as ASNM president

PNT Staff Former Eastern New Mexico University student-body president Bob Cornelius said he was stripped of his title Saturday as the president of the Associated Students of New Mexico. Cornelius was ENMU’s student body president last year and now attends the University of New Mexico. Cornelius was defeated in his re-election bid by Brett Trembly […]

Former ASENMU president at odds with current president

By Mike Linn A former Eastern New Mexico University student-body president is the center of a tug of war among the state’s most prominent student leaders, some of whom want to strip him of his title as the president of the Associated Students of New Mexico. Bob Cornelius, ENMU’s student body president last year who […]

Man arrested for murder in Fort Sumner

By Ryan Lengerich A Fort Sumner man was charged Friday with an open count of murder in the death of his wife, then attempted suicide while in police custody, New Mexico State Police officials said. Jose Garcia, 48, is being held at the Quay County Detention Center in Tucumcari in connection with the killing of […]

Teen indicted in slaying

PNT staff and wire reports A Roosevelt County grand jury has indicted a Portales teenager 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. […]

City expresses grief after identification

By Mike Linn Portales residents expressed shock and grief on Tuesday after police identified the body of a woman found on Friday, buried in a Portales back yard. Amber Robinson, 20, a former student at Broad Horizons in Portales, made a lasting impression on friends, who described her as a joy to be around. “She […]

Police: No ID yet on dead body

By Kevin Wilson aw enforcement officials said they will know today the identity of a body found buried in a Portales back yard three days ago. That information and the cause of death, Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said, would be available this morning after completion of the autopsy. “There’s not enough (in relation to) […]