House committee considers Ute water legislation

By Gabriel Monte, Freedom New Mexico Rep. Tom Udall said while he remains positive Congress will pass a bill authorizing the Ute Water Project, he has concerns the president might veto it. The bill would authorize federal funding for a $476 million water project proposing to bring water from Ute Lake reservoir to communities in […]

Closing arguments next in Salas trial

By Kevin Wilson, Freedom New Mexico Lawyers will deliver closing arguments this morning in the first-degree murder trial of Edward Salas, accused in the 2005 shooting death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy. The prosecution rested its case Thursday afternoon, and the defense followed suit after nearly three hours of testimony in a Curry County courtroom […]

Defendant’s ex-girlfriend, father take stand

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico The prosecution continued its case Wednesday morning with testimony from five witnesses, including Edward Salas’ former girlfriend and a man who helped hide a gun authorities believe was involved in the shooting of a 10-year-old boy in 2005. Edward Salas is being tried for the first-degree murder of 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, […]

Prosecution witness rebutts defense’s alternative death theory

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — A state forensic pathologist said Friday he stood by his opinion in the first-degree murder trial of a Cannon airman that Kimberly Novak died from blunt force trauma and strangulation. Returning to the stand at the request of the jury, Dr. Russell Alexander disagreed […]

Novak verdict paused pending more testimony

1203021849-webcannoncourthouse1.jpg

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — A state forensic pathologist who testified for the prosecution in the first-degree murder trial of Airman Basic Edward Novak II will retake the stand and offer further testimony. Dr. Russell Alexander is expected to testify Friday morning. In a hearing Thursday morning outside the […]

Jury to begin deliberating

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Jurors will begin deliberating the fate of Airman Basic Edward Novak II today after hearing more than six hours of closing arguments Monday. Novak faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the death of his wife. Much of their […]

Prosecution rests case in Novak trial

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — The prosecution ended its case in the first-degree murder case against Edward Novak II on Friday morning with the testimony of a forensic psychologist, who testified in general terms about memory and how it is affected by trauma. The defense’s first move was to […]

Prosecution rests in Novak trial

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — The prosecution ended its case in the first-degree murder case against Airman Basic Edward Novak II on Friday morning with the testimony of a forensic psychologist, who testified in general terms about memory and how it is affected by trauma. The defense’s first move […]

Jury hears conversation between defendant, mother-in-law

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Edward Novak II told his mother-in-law in a taped conversation played in court Wednesday he didn’t recall what happened the night his wife died. Novak, who is accused of killing his wife in October 2004, also could be heard in the same conversation with […]

Forensic experts testify in Novak case

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Defense attorneys for a Cannon airman accused of first-degree murder used the expert testimony of prosecution witnesses Tuesday to show forensic evidence collected indicates nothing more than Edward and Kimberly Novak were married and lived in the same house. DNA found under Kimberly Novak’s […]

Jury hears closing arguments

1191468318-chandlerclosingarg1.jpg

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Jurors will begin deliberating this morning after nearly six hours of closing arguments Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of two Clovis men. While defense attorneys argued evidence was insufficient against their clients, prosecutor Matt Chandler asked jurors to weigh the partnership of five individuals he said planned and […]

Victim’s brother takes stand

By Karl Terry: PNT managing editor Ruben Perez described to a Roosevelt County jury how he held his little brother and tried to stop the blood from a gunshot wound to the 10-year-old’s head while waiting for ambulance crews to arrive. Carlos Perez died later that day at a Lubbock hospital. Ruben Perez, 19, testified […]

Judge could limit some testimony

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers ALBUQUERQUE — The jury that will determine Stanley Bedford’s fate has seen nearly 300 pieces of evidence and heard testimony from nearly 40 witnesses – including nine Friday, the first day of mitigation for Bedford. There’s plenty they haven’t seen as well. The instances are more frequent during the current […]

Bedford’s family takes stand

1182573180-623mitchellbedford.jpg

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers ALBUQUERQUE — Nine members of Stanley Bedford’s family testified Wednesday as his defense team began the mitigation period of Bedford’s death-penalty hearing for the March 2005 deaths of Odis and Doris Newman of Portales. The defense, which expects to conclude its case Monday, spent Friday talking with family members about […]

Fuller testifies against Bedford

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers ALBUQUERQUE — Jerry Fuller said he felt remorse seconds after setting a car on fire with his aunt and uncle locked inside, and characterized an accused accomplice as a drug pusher who’d “try to cheat you constantly.” Fuller, serving a 127-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to murder in connection […]

Forensics dominate day’s testimony

1173247327-3-7-bacatrialwoman.jpg

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Footprints found on the shallow grave of a Portales teen match the boots the defendant in her murder trial was known to wear, according to a state crime lab expert’s testimony Tuesday at the Roosevelt County Courthouse. The second day of Richard Baca’s homicide trial was dominated in the […]

Prosecutors want testimony excluded

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Prosecutors asked a judge to exclude testimony of a defense psychiatric expert from the murder trial of Jimmy Bentley during a hearing Friday in the 9th Judicial District Court. District Attorney Matt Chandler gave the court several reasons for wanting Dr. Samuel Roll stricken as a witness, including outdated methods, […]

Agent testifies in airman hearing

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Airman Edward Novak II told emergency responders he found his wife dead in an upstairs bathroom with her head inside the toilet, according to testimony Tuesday from an agent with Cannon Air Force Base’ Office of Special Investigations. Special Agent Kelley Siler also said Novak told emergency responders the toilet […]

Hearing begins for Cannon airman

Freedom Newspapers Proceedings began Monday in a Cannon Air Force Base courtroom to determine if a base airman will stand trial for the homicide of his wife. The hearing comes more than 20 months after Kimberly Novak, 20, was found dead at the base home she shared with her husband and young daughter. She died […]