Murder trial set to start

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers An Albuquerque jury will decide over the next six weeks whether a Portales man is responsible for the deaths of an elderly Portales couple in March 2005. Jury selection starts Monday in the death-penalty case of Stanley Bedford, 43, and lawyers expect to begin arguments May 29, the Tuesday following […]

Tucumcari man charged with murder

Freedom Newspapers A 24-year-old Tucumcari man, Phillip J. Latham, has been charged with murder in connection with Tuesday’s shooting death of Tiffany Throckmorton, according to a news release from the Tucumcari Police Department. Latham, who lives on South Seventh Street, is charged with murder, tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm, the release said. […]

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 […]

Bentley guilty in Clovis murder

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A Clovis jury on Thursday found Jimmy Bentley guilty of second-degree murder for the Christmas Eve shooting death of an Oklahoma photo salesman. The announcement capped a four-day trial in the 9th Judicial District Court in which prosecutors argued Bentley’s shooting of Joseph Phillips, 48, outside a Clovis hotel was […]

Man indicted on murder charge

Freedom Newspapers A man captured in Texas after police named him as a murder suspect for the area’s third homicide was indicted for first-degree murder Friday, according to a release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney. Tony Martinez, 51 is accused of fatally shooting Hugo Ochoa May 31 outside a home at 410 Rencher Street. […]

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 […]

Novak hearing ends

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The prosecution and defense agreed on one thing at the conclusion of an evidentiary hearing to determine if a Cannon Air Force Base airman should stand trial for murder in connection with his wife’s death: the case hinges on circumstantial evidence. Defense attorney Maj. Shawn Vandenberg told the hearing investigator […]

Murder suspect nabbed

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A traffic stop in West Texas on Tuesday led to the arrest of a 51-year-old Clovis man wanted by police in connection with the city’s third homicide this year. Tony Martinez, 51, was arrested at a hotel in Lamesa, Texas, just before 6 a.m. CDT Tuesday, according to officials. Martinez […]

Clovis man convicted of murder

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Her jaw clenched, eyes shielded behind glasses, the mother of shooting victim Roshawn Pitts sat with arms and legs crossed, nodding her head emphatically Thursday as each guilty verdict was read. William Riley, 33, showed no emotion as his family members shook their heads in disbelief and anger after a […]

Judge denies motion to dismiss death penalty

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By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn on Thursday denied defense motions to dismiss the death penalty as a possible sentence and separate the charges of a Portales man accused of killing an elderly Portales couple. Jerry Fuller, 33, is accused of killing his uncle and aunt, Odis and Doris […]

Portales man pleads guilty in murder case

By Tony Parra A Portales man was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison for his role in the 2004 death of Amber Robinson of Portales. Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn sentenced Clifford “Bubba” Baca, 21, after Baca pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and tampering with evidence. A week-long trial had been scheduled to […]

Murder trial set to begin in Portales

Freedom Newspapers The trial of one of the men accused of first-degree murder of a Portales teen girl begins on Monday in the Roosevelt County District Courthouse. Clifford Baca, 21, will be on trial for the murder of 19-year-old Amber Robinson. Clifford Baca is facing charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and contributing to […]

Local Briefs (Jan. 7)

Man indicted by grand jury on murder charges A grand jury indicted Jim Bentley, 71, of Farmington on second-degree murder Friday in connection with the Christmas eve slaying of an Oklahoma man outside a Clovis motel, according to a release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Bentley is accused of shooting Joseph Phillips Jr., […]

Murder trial postponed as attorneys wait for evidence

Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers The murder trial of three brothers charged in connection with a 10-year-old boy’s death will be postponed so that attorneys can receive and review forensic evidence. Prosecutor Andrea Reeb asked District Court Judge Joe Parker to push back the trial that had been scheduled for next month to at least May. […]

Muleshoe man convicted of murder

By Andy Jackson MULESHOE — Family members of Vince Simnacher believe justice was served Friday when a Bailey County jury convicted a Muleshoe man of capital murder. Larry Kitchens, 53, was found guilty after 45 minutes of jury deliberation and sentenced to life in prison, according to 287th District Attorney Johnny Actkinson. Actkinson said Kitchens […]

Salas to be tried as adult

Andy Jackson: CNJ Staff Writer Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler told Orlando Salas, 15, Friday he would be tried as an adult in connection with last week’s killing of a 10-year-old Clovis boy. Chandler told Salas during his first appearance in district court that if the Clovis teen is convicted of murder, he will […]

Third Salas brother charged with homicide

Rick White: Freedom Newspapers Two brothers already in custody were charged Wednesday with murder in connection with last week’s shooting death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy, District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Chandler said evidence gathered during witness interviews and forensic testing led to the murder charges against Orlando Salas, 15, and Demetrio Salas, 19. Both […]

Baca pleads not guilty

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By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer A 19-year-old Portales man decided against a plea agreement Monday in court and instead will face a murder trial in connection with the death of a city teen. Baca pleaded not guilty Monday to a first-degree murder charge and two counts of tampering with evidence. He is accused of […]

Teenager given maximum sentence

By David Irvin: Freedom Newspapers A Clovis teenager pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday and was sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with the shooting death last year of an acquaintance. Adam Crespin, 19, killed Lavon Harris with a shotgun in the early morning hours of March 3, 2004, at the Clovis Apartments, […]

Suspects await grand jury hearing

PNT Staff Jerry Fuller, one of two Portales residents accused of killing Odis and Doris Newman, is back in Portales and awaits a grand jury hearing today. Fuller, 32, had been hospitalized since March 8, when he was shot by police during his arrest. He was airlifted to Covenant Hospital in Lubbock for treatment after […]