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, […]

Smith indicted for rape, murder, kidnapping

Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers Clovis dentist James Smith was indicted by a grand jury Thursday for the murder, rape and kidnapping of Laura McNaughton and for three counts of tampering with evidence, according to a release from 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Chandler said he will make a decision in 90 days on whether […]

Local dentist charged with murder

Marlena Hartz : Freedom Newspapers Forensic evidence led to the arrest Tuesday morning of a local dentist with Portales ties suspected of killing Clovis resident Laura McNaughton. Police said James Smith, 36, of Clovis, is charged with an open count of murder. McNaughton, 30, was fatally strangled, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. […]

Resident says Smith comes from good family

Tonya Garner: Freedom Newspapers Laura McNaughton’s family members told police a dentist had been “weirding” her out. The resulting investigation led to Tuesday’s arrest of Dr. James Smith, a dentist with La Casa de Buena Salud in Clovis and Portales, police records show. Smith is charged with an open count of murder in connection with […]

No arrests made in McNaughton homicide case

Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers Officials investigating Laura McNaughton’s homicide held their first press conference on Thursday, but released little additional information. McNaughton’s body was found Saturday in a ditch in the Pleasant Hill community north of Clovis. Officials said no arrests have been made and they refused again to release the cause of her death. […]

Rumors cloud recent slaying

David Stevens: Freedom Newspapers Rumors about the region’s most recent homicide are frustrating law-enforcement officers as they attempt to verify or dispel them, Curry County Undersheriff Doug Bowman said on Wednesday. “We’re just getting lots of phone calls … we’re having to make contacts to see who these people are spreading these rumors and it’s […]

Clovis police investigating homicide

By Sharna Johnson Laura McNaughton was probably not a random homicide victim, Curry County’s undersheriff said on Tuesday. Doug Bowman said investigators are talking to “less than 10” people who may have knowledge about the 30-year-old Clovis woman’s slaying. Bowman said he believes McNaughton may have known her killer. Officials declined again on Tuesday to […]