Closing arguments start in Chunn murder trial

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer Attorneys delivered closing arguments Monday in the murder trial of a Roosevelt County farmer accused of hiring an Aryan Brotherhood member to kill local rancher Jimmie Bo Chunn. By noon, the state and the defense for William “Billy Joe” Watson had spoken before Judge Drew Tatum called for a […]

Opening arguments in murder trial begin

Freedom New Mexico Opening arguments began Thursday in the slaying trial of Roosevelt County farmer William “Billy Joe” Watson. Watson is accused of hiring Aryan Brotherhood member Donald Taylor, a Rogers native, to kill Causey rancher Jimmy Bo Chunn, 71, in July 2005 in exchange for providing anhydrous ammonia for methamphetamine manufacture. Taylor has pleaded […]

Murder trial set for Thursday

PNT staff reports The murder-for-hire trial of Roosevelt County farmer William “Billy Joe” Watson is scheduled to begin with opening arguments 9 a.m. Thursday in the Roosevelt County Courthouse. Watson is accused of hiring Rogers native Donald Taylor — a member of what authorities call the race-based criminal group Aryan Brotherhood — to kill Causey […]

Judge declares mistrial in murder case

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico A district judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the murder trial of Anthony Ray Casillas after a prosecution witness collapsed during testimony. Witness Steven Casillas, the defendant’s uncle, appeared injured when he arrived at court, District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Paramedics were called and were standing by while Steven […]

Clovis man convicted of attempted murder for attacking guards with shank

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By Eric Butler: Freedom New Mexico A Curry County jury has convicted Guadalupe Urquizo of attempted murder for an October 2008 attack against two detention officers at the jail. The jury verdict was returned Wednesday after a one-day trial. District Attorney Matt Chandler said Urquizo, 29, of Clovis, lunged at two guards with a sharpened […]

Group to perform murder mystery radio show

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By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer “Mr. Marco is murdered!” That’s the line from the 1943 radio drama “Murder on the Circus Train” from a series called “The Ellery Queen Mysteries,” being performed by a group of Portales and Clovis residents for the Clovis Music Festival. People can listen on the radio or watch the […]

Tucumcari fugitive captured in Clovis

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By Thomas Garcia: QCS Staff Writer A Tucumcari fugitive charged with attempted murder was arrested Monday afternoon in the parking lot of a Clovis eatery. Acting on a tip, Clovis police and Curry County deputies located Moses Earl Ingram in a vehicle at Pops Place on Main Street, according to Clovis Police Capt. Patrick Whitney. […]

Portales man indicted on murder charge

PNT Staff Report A grand jury has indicted Isaac Montano, 47, on a charge of first degree murder for the July 7, 2008, death of Donald Chapman. The indictment was returned June 30. Chapman, 69, was found at his home in Portales with multiple stab wounds and died later at a Lubbock hospital. Other counts […]

Police believe shooting suspect in Portales

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Carlsbad police are asking for public help to find a suspect in a fatal shooting believed to be hiding in Portales. Fernando Lopez, 36, is wanted on an open count of murder.Carlsbad Sgt. David Gonzales said police have received credible reports Lopez is in Portales, where he is known to reside. “He’s from there and […]

Macias’ murder conviction overturned

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico New Mexico’s supreme court has overturned convictions of a Clovis man for a 2006 murder. In a unanimous decision issued Tuesday, the court ruled that hearsay evidence was improperly allowed into the trial of Robert Macias, who was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder in the killing […]

On the shelves

8th Confession is the exhilarating newest chapter in the Women’s Murder Club series serving up a double dose of twists and revelations.

Man convicted in 1993 ‘Bathtub murder’ to be released from prison

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Editor’s note: Background for this story was compiled from court records, news archives and interviews with law enforcement and family members. After the crime scene tape was long gone, a young woman laid to rest, the dust settled in the courtrooms and the case etched in the law books, […]

Death penalty allowed in Roosevelt murder case

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By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer A District Court ruling has allowed prosecutors to seek the death penalty in the case of a Roosevelt County man accused of contracting the 2005 shooting death of a county rancher. Tuesday in District Court, Judge Drew Tatum ruled there is probable cause to believe an aggravating circumstance, namely […]

Roosevelt farmer still faces death penalty

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Even though the death penalty was repealed in New Mexico, a Roosevelt County farmer accused of arranging a murder-for-hire still faces possible execution. Prosecutors filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against William “Billy Joe” Watson last August. Watson is accused of conspiring with the Aryan […]

Clovis man pleads guilty to first-degree murder

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Just as the jury was about to be seated Monday and opening arguments were set to begin, Albert Ramirez decided to plead guilty and accepted the maximum sentence for the first-degree murder of his mother’s boyfriend. Ramirez, 20, will serve life in prison and forfeited his right to an […]

Homicide suspect indicted on murder charges

Freedom New Mexico Homicide suspect Anthony Ray Casillas was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder Friday in connection with the Sept. 25 shooting deaths of a Melrose man and a Lubbock woman, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler. Casillas, 21, of Clovis is accused of shooting Gary Payne, 52, and Melissa Ward, 36, while […]

Judge adds eight years to murder conviction

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Freedom New Mexico A man convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy will serve 24 years in prison after a judge added eight years to his sentence Wednesday, according to the district attorney’s office. During a bench trial to evaluate sentencing, District Judge Teddy Hartley enhanced the sentence of […]

Jurors deliberating fate of Edward Salas

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Freedom New Mexico staff writer Sharna Johnson

Prosecution rests in Salas murder trial

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer CLOVIS — The prosecution went through all of its planned witnesses in the trial of Edward Salas — including his mother — before Thursday’s mid-day break and rested shortly after returning from lunch. Salas, 23, faces charges in connection to the Sept. 15, 2005, shooting death of 10-year-old Carlos […]

Teenage girls give testimony during second day of murder trial

Freedom New Mexico Two teenage girls gave testimony for the prosecution Tuesday morning that placed three brothers and two other men at the apartment complex where 10-year-old Carlos Perez was shot and killed more than two years ago. Melissa Sanchez was the first witness in Day 2 of the first-degree murder trial of Edward Salas, […]