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State Supreme Court Affirms Conviction Of Albuquerque Man For Fatal Shooting In Dispute Over $30 Drug Debt

on May 25, 2019 - 5:28am
NMSC News:
 
SANTA FE The state Supreme Court has upheld the second-degree murder conviction of an Albuquerque man for a fatal shooting in a dispute over a $30 drug debt, but threw out a first-degree felony murder conviction for the same killing.
 
Jason Comitz was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 15 years for the murder and other crimes during the Feb. 1, 2015 shooting at the home of Paul Randy Rael. Rael died, and his son and stepson were wounded. Rael’s wife and a son’s 10-year-daughter were inside the home but unharmed.
 
In its unanimous ruling, the Court also

Los Alamos Police Blotter: May 15 To May 19, 2019

on May 23, 2019 - 7:47am

LAPD News:

The following information is provided by the Los Alamos Police Department.

Neither arrests nor charges indicate a conviction, and neither means that a person is guilty of the charges filed against them.

TERRANCE H. STECK

May 15 at 8:33 p.m. / Police arrested Terrance H. Steck, 33, of Los Alamos at 505 Oppenheimer Dr. and charged him with one count of aggravated battery against a household member: great bodily harm and one count of aggravated battery against a household member.

 

 

BLAIR MICHAEL ART

May 16 at 5:54 p.m.

Balderas: Convicted Teacher Gets 108 Years In Prison

on May 21, 2019 - 9:04am
Former teacher Gary Gregor
 
AG News:
 
SANTA FE Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Thursday that Gary Gregor, the teacher who sexually assaulted multiple students in Rio Arriba County was sentenced to more than a century in prison.
 
In December, AG Balderas successfully secured multiple convictions against Gregor, for sexually assaulting 4th grade students during the 2007-2008 school year at Fairview Elementary School.
 
“Dangerous criminals who harm children deserve to be behind bars,” Balderas said. “We will always fight to give a voice to sexual abuse survivors.”
 

Los Alamos Municipal Court Hosts Elementary School Students For Mock Trial Experience

on May 17, 2019 - 1:41pm

The Los Alamos Municipal Court hosted 64 5th and 6th graders from the Aspen and Chamisa Elementary Safety Patrol and the Pinon Elementary Upstander Group for a mock trial experience May 10. After the trial, the students were divided into four different juries – who all came to different conclusions regarding the outcome of the case. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos Police Blotter: May 8 to May 14, 2019

on May 17, 2019 - 12:23pm

LAPD News:

The following information is provided by the Los Alamos Police Department.

Neither arrests nor charges indicate a conviction, and neither means that a person is guilty of the charges filed against them.

LENAYA ASHLEY MARTINEZ

May 8 at 2:41 a.m. / Police arrested Lenaya Ashley Martinez, 23, of Ohkay Owingeh at 2500 Trinity Dr. and charged her with DWI.

 

 

 

RENA MONTOYA

May 8 at 3:22 a.m. / Police arrested Rena Montoya, 33, of Ohkay Owingeh at 2500 Trinity Dr. and charged her with DWI and driving while license is suspended or revoked.

 

 

MARION L. LOOPE

May 9 at 11:57

NM Supreme Court Disciplines Albuquerque Attorney

on May 17, 2019 - 9:06am
NMSC News:
 
SANTA FE The New Mexico Supreme Court Thursday affirmed the indefinite suspension of Albuquerque attorney Daniel M. Salazar, who was held in contempt by the justices last year for failing to comply with the Court’s initial disciplinary order.
 
“Rules matter. An attorney must conform his or her conduct to the requirements of the rules and orders of this Court,” the state’s highest court said in a unanimous written opinion by Justice Barbara J. Vigil. “The discipline we impose may salvage Salazar’s potential and ability to practice law.

District Attorney Marco Serna: Mesa Vista High School Teacher Sentenced To 18 Years In Prison

on May 14, 2019 - 12:23pm
Miguel G. Garcia
 
NMSP News:
 
TIERRA AMARILLA Monday, First Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna announced that Miguel G. Garcia, a former teacher at Mesa Vista High School, was sentenced to 18 years for raping a student between 2012-213.
 
A Rio Arriba jury found Garcia guilty in March on two counts of Criminal Sexual Contact of a Minor in the 4th degree and five counts of Criminal Sexual Penetration of a Minor in the 4th Degree. The Office of District Attorney Marco Serna asked for the maximum sentence.
 
“Sexual violence against our children will never be tolerated, and now

Santa Fe Workers File Lien To Recoup Nearly $116K In Stolen Wages Amid Restaurants Closure

on May 13, 2019 - 7:11am
SUPU News:
 
SANTA FE Earlier this week, a group of workers filed a second lien in Santa Fe County against the owners of Shohko Café, a local Santa Fe restaurant that recently announced its closure, as part of a two-year fight to recoup nearly $116,000 in stolen wages, damages and other costs.
 
In February, a state judge in the First Judicial District Court ruled against the restaurant for violating the Santa Fe Living Wage Ordinance, New Mexico's minimum wage laws and ordered the restaurant owners to pay workers approximately $60,000 in stolen wages and damages, following a trial held

FBI: Murder Suspect Trudy Martin Arrested

on May 11, 2019 - 10:26am
FBI News:
 
Trudy Martinez, 28, of Twin Lakes, N.M. on the Navajo Nation wanted by the FBI on a federal criminal complaint charging her with murder has been arrested.
 
FBI Special Agents arrested Martinez Thursday in Gallup.
 
Martinez was accused of fatally shooting another adult May 3 in Twin. She fled the scene with her own children, who are now safe with family.
 
Martinez also is charged with use of a firearm in a crime of violence and crimes occurring in Indian County.
 
The public is reminded that all suspects are considered innocent unless convicted in a court of law.

Council Appoints Michael Redondo Probate Judge

on May 10, 2019 - 9:50am

Applicants for the Los Alamos County Probate Judge position, Adelaide Jacobson, left, Michael Redondo and Lynn Finnegan answer questions from Council members during Tuesday night's regular meeting in Council Chambers. After two rounds of votes, Redondo was appointed to fill the position. He takes over from Anne Nobile who resigns effective June 1. Redondo's term will expire Dec. 31, 2022. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com

Daily Postcard: Goose Seeks Justice

on May 9, 2019 - 6:54am

Daily Postcard: This goose is spotted looking for justice Sunday at the Los Alamos Justice Center, which unfortunately was closed so it waddled next door to cool off in Ashley Pond. Photo by Hannah Miller

U.S. Senators Udall And Heinrich Seek Applicants For Upcoming Vacancy On US District Court

on May 6, 2019 - 3:41pm

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Honorable Judith C. Herrera announced Sept. 28, 2018 her intention to assume senior status after 15 years of distinguished service on the federal bench.

Judge Herrera’s announcement, effective July 1, 2019, will create a vacancy in Albuquerque for a U.S. District Judge for the District of New Mexico.

In accordance with their constitutional responsibility as senators to provide advice and consent with respect to federal appointments, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich will recommend to the president a short list of qualified candidates

Balderas Secures Default Judgement Against Out Of Compliance Charity In First-Of-Its-Kind Order

on May 4, 2019 - 4:53pm
Attorney General Hector Balderas
 
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE Attorney General Hector Balderas has announced the default judgement against an out-of-state non-profit organization that was not complying with state law.
 
This judgement against the “For All Kids” Foundation is the first of its kind in New Mexico, and the first as part of a statewide charity compliance sweep being conducted by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General.
 
“New Mexican families and consumer trust non-profits in our state to serve the benevolent purposes that they claim,” Balderas said.

State Auditor Joins AG; NMSP In Special Probe Of Alleged Embezzlement By Torrance County Official

on May 3, 2019 - 7:50am
STATE News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE Thursday morning, State Auditor Colón joined Attorney General Balderas and State Police Chief Johnson concerning the criminal investigation into former Torrance County Sheriff and current elected Torrance County Magistrate Judge Heath White for embezzlement and corruption.
 
Auditor Colón issued the following statement regarding the Office of the State Auditor’s special investigation on the matter:
 
“On April 29, the Office of the State Auditor put Torrance County on notice that we intend to do a full review to ensure all checks and balances are in place to

Los Alamos Police Blotter: April 24 To April 30, 2019

on May 1, 2019 - 12:15pm

LAPD News:

The following information is provided by the Los Alamos Police Department.

Neither arrests nor charges indicate a conviction, and neither means that a person is guilty of the charges filed against them.

NATHAN JACOB MARQUEZ

April 25 at 3:27 p.m. / Police arrested Nathan Jacob Marquez, 38, of Los Alamos at 2025 East Jemez Dr.

DA Serna Announces Vehicular Homicide Conviction

on May 1, 2019 - 7:17am
Paulo Vega-Mendoza
 
NMSP News:
 
SANTA FE  First Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna announced that late Monday that Paulo Vega-Mendoza pled guilty to one count of 2nd degree homicide by vehicle for a crash April 15, 2017 on Airport Road in Santa Fe.
 
At sentencing, Vega-Mendoza faces up to 15 years in prison and the defendant remains in custody.
 
“Substance abuse and addiction is plaguing all of our New Mexico communities, and while I am focused on treatment and prevention, I will also hold those who endanger our children and families on the road accountable to the fullest

State Police Agents Make Arrest In Rita Jaramillo Case

on April 30, 2019 - 3:42pm

Arthur James Lovato 

 

NMSP News:  

 

LOS LUNAS The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was asked Oct. 1, 2018 to assist the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office with a missing persons case.

Sept. 23, 2018, the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office was called to a trailer house that had been burned belonging to Rita Jaramillo at 6 San Luis Rey Place in the El Cerro Mission District of Los Lunas. Deputies learned from family members that they haven’t heard from Rita Jaramillo since Sept. 20, 2018.

Valencia County detectives had reason to believe there was foul play involved so

Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force Takedown Results In Charges Against 60 Individuals

on April 29, 2019 - 10:13am
DEA News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. Attorney General William P. Barr and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II, together with multiple law enforcement partners, has announced enforcement actions involving 60 charged defendants across 11 federal districts.
 
Those indicted include 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners and seven other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in the illegal prescribing and distributing of opioids and other dangerous narcotics and for health care fraud schemes.
 
In addition, HHS announced

Lawsuit Challenges BLM Oil And Gas Leasing

on April 29, 2019 - 9:42am
BLM News:
 
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) has filed a federal lawsuit challenging two decisions by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to offer, sell, and issue 35 oil and gas leases totaling 54,508 acres of public lands for development on the doorstep of Bears Ears, Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients National Monuments.
 
The lawsuit, filed Friday, April 19 aims to protect some of the most culturally and archaeologically rich public lands in the United States.

Probate Judge Vacancy Application Deadline Tuesday

on April 29, 2019 - 9:25am
COUNTY News:
 
Applicants interested in filling the Probate Judge vacancy created by the resignation of Anne Nobile last month are reminded to submit their letter of interest to the County Manager’s office no later than the deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 30.
 
The successful applicant will finish Nobile’s term, which will end Dec. 31, 2022.
 
Interested applicants are asked to submit a one- or two-page letter indicating why they would be interested in serving as Probate Judge. Under State law, any qualified person over the age of 18 who is a resident of Los Alamos County may serve.

Governor Makes Pair Of Judicial Appointments

on April 28, 2019 - 8:01am
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Thursday announced appointments for judicial vacancies in the Fifth and Eighth Judicial Districts.
  • Thomas E. Lilley: Fifth Judicial District Court; and
  • Melissa A. Kennelly: Eighth Judicial District Court.
 
Thomas Lilley has over three decades of experience in private practice, primarily representing personal injury cases in Roswell since 1986. He has been a member of the Chaves County Bar Association since 1983 and is an active youth sports coach in his community.

DA: Santa Fe Artist Gets 36 Years For Heinous Crime

on April 27, 2019 - 8:10am
District Attorney’s Office News:
 
SANTA FE First Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna announced Friday that convicted child rapist David Hyams was sentenced to 36 years in prison for the gruesome rape of a young girl while her mother, his girlfriend at the time, was at work.
 
In announcing the sentence, District Attorney Marco Serna said, “I remain focused on combating sexual violence in New Mexico and will continue to hold sexual predators accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Los Alamos Police Blotter: April 20, 2019

on April 24, 2019 - 11:16am

LAPD News:

The following information is provided by the Los Alamos Police Department.

Neither arrests nor charges indicate a conviction, and neither means that a person is guilty of the charges filed against them.

LEROY ANTHONY MONTOYA

April 20 at 2:39 p.m. / Police arrested Leroy Anthony Montoya, 32, of Questa at Diamond Drive and Canyon Road and charged him with driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Los Alamos Police Blotter: April 13 To April 16, 2019

on April 17, 2019 - 11:09am

LAPD News:

The following information is provided by the Los Alamos Police Department.

Neither arrests nor charges indicate a conviction, and neither means that a person is guilty of the charges filed against them.

TAYLOR ROSE ORTEGA

April 13 at 3:39 p.m. / Police arrested Taylor Rose Ortega, 18, of Los Alamos near Rose Street and Central Avenue and charged her with careless driving, failure to maintain traffic lane, operating a vehicle under the influence of a drug and driving with an open container of alcohol.

 

BRIDGID MARTINEZ

April 16 at 12:45 p.m.

FBI: Albuquerque Man Faces Harboring Fugitive Charge

on April 16, 2019 - 4:29pm
FBI News:
 
Ernie Thomas Ortiz, 45, of Albuquerque, has been charged in a federal complaint with Harboring a Fugitive for allegedly being the driver of a vehicle in which Jeyden Bailey Barnhill was found last weekend.
 
Ortiz also faces federal charges of Aggravated Identity Theft and Possession of Methamphetamine.
 
Ortiz and Barnhill, 24, were apprehended by the FBI with the assistance of the Albuquerque Police Department on Saturday during a traffic stop.
 
Barnhill, who was wanted on a federal arrest warrant for allegedly absconding from pre-trial release, allegedly tried to flee

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