Clovis dentist no longer part of inquiry

The Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY — A New Mexico dentist serving life in prison for murder is no longer a “person of interest” in the unsolved killings of several prostitutes in the Lawton area. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said James Smith, who once attended the University of Oklahoma, is no longer […]

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 […]

Smith prison bound

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Editor’s note: Content in this report may be offensive to some readers. Laura McNaughton’s family had strong words for the Clovis woman’s convicted killer during a sentencing hearing Tuesday at the Curry County Courthouse. Maria Beardmore, the victim’s mother, asked defense counsel to move so she could see James Smith […]

Dentist enters plea

By Sharna Johnston: Freedom Newspapers A Clovis dentist facing the death penalty in connection with the 2005 slaying of a Clovis mother has reached a plea agreement that will send him to prison for at least 57 years. In a barely audible voice from his seat at the defense table, James Smith answered “yes” as […]

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 […]

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 […]

McNaughton family shows appreciation to police

By Tonya Garner Local law enforcement members were recognized Monday by the family of Laura McNaughton, the 30-year-old Clovis woman found slain in a ditch last December. The somber-faced group gathered in a conference room on the third floor of the Curry County Courthouse as U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Jeff Scofield presented the members of […]

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 […]