NM Candidates For Governor Join Forum, Man Sentenced In Death Of Fellow Navajo

Mar 10, 2018

New Mexico Candidates For Governor Join Bipartisan ForumAssociated Press

Republican and Democratic candidates for governor in New Mexico have agreed to participate in a public forum Sunday about the public's right to access government documents and other transparency issues.

New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Executive Director Peter St. Cyr said the participation of all gubernatorial candidates is a testament to widespread concerns about transparency in government as an essential component of democracy.

A live webcast of the forum in Albuquerque is planned on the foundation's Facebook page .

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez cannot seek a third term in November elections. U.S.  Rep. Steve Pearce is the only Republican candidate for the top statewide office. The Democratic nomination is being sought by U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, state Sen. Joseph Cervantes, former media executive Jeff Apodaca and educator Peter DeBenedittis.

Man Sentenced In Death Of Fellow Navajo Slain On Reservation Associated Press

A Churchrock, New Mexico, man convicted of killing a fellow Navajo during a fight on the reservation has been sentenced to 10 years and seven months in prison for voluntary manslaughter.

The FBI says 35-year-old Randy Payton was sentenced Friday in federal court in Albuquerque.

Payton will be on supervised released for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Payton was arrested and charged for killing the other man on tribal land in McKinley County on Oct. 14, 2016.

Payton later pleaded guilty to killing the man by hitting and kicking him.

The case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety.

People In Apartment Shooting Knew Each Other Associated Press

An Albuquerque Police Department spokesman says the two people involved in a fatal shooting at an apartment knew each other and that it was not a random home invasion.

Officer Tanner Tixier says police are investigating the possibility that the Friday morning incident was the result of a domestic dispute but that information isn't available on any relationship, if any, between the people involved.

Tixier said previously that a person reportedly trying to break into the apartment was fatally shot by a resident.

Case Of Teen Who Killed 5 Heads Back To Court Associated Press

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has sided with an appeal filed by prosecutors, clearing the way for more court proceedings to determine if a New Mexico man who killed five family members as a teen was receptive to treatment.

The ruling comes as Nehemiah Griego's 21st birthday on March 20 approaches. That's when he is scheduled to be released under a 2016 order that found he had been receptive to psychological treatment while in state custody, and that his therapy and rehabilitation at a state facility for adolescents had prepared him for his release.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas appealed that 2016 order, citing Griego's premeditation of the murders and mental health issues.

Balderas said Friday he was pleased with the appellate court's decision.

Griego was 15 in January 2013 when authorities say he fatally shot his parents and three younger siblings.

New Mexico Man Killed On Freeway Was Driving To Get Married Associated Press

A New Mexico woman says she and her boyfriend were on their way to Las Vegas to get married before he was killed on a freeway while changing a tire.

The Albuquerque Journal reports 28-year-old Lonnie Escovedo and his sister's boyfriend 21-year-old Michael Chambellan were struck by a vehicle on the shoulder of Interstate 25 on Tuesday evening.

Benigna Martinez says she and Escovedo were heading to Nevada when they got a flat tire outside Algodones. They called Escovedo's sister who with Chambellan came to assist.

The two men were killed after Sandoval County authorities say 31-year-old Christie Noriega hit them and the car.

Noriega was charged Tuesday with two counts of homicide by vehicle, driving while intoxicated and child abuse. It was unclear if she had a lawyer.

Memoir By Former Border Patrol Agent Sparks Debate Associated Press

Francisco Cantu said he joined the Border Patrol at age 23 to get an on-the-ground education in international relations.

Now 32, he says he didn't expect his new memoir examining some of the agency's uglier aspects would spark protests by far-left groups denouncing him for the work and forcing him to cancel some talks promoting the book.

He said he agrees with much of the criticism from the left, even though it caught him off guard.

Cantu said he wrote "The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border" to make sense of his time with the patrol and to share his experiences and self-examination with readers.

He's scheduled to appear this weekend at the Tucson Festival of Books.

The Latest: Judge Approves Measures Against Wage Theft Associated Press

New measures aimed at protecting workers from wage theft by employers in New Mexico have been approved by a district court judge in New Mexico.

Judge David Thomson on Friday approved a settlement stemming from a lawsuit by workers and advocacy groups against the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

The agreement is designed to make it easier for workers to recover unpaid wages and additional penalties from employers. It lifts a $10,000 limit on claims of missing wages and will allow workers to resubmit complaints that were improperly rejected in recent years.

The state will begin accepting wage-theft claims in remote communities through a network of more than 20 New Mexico Workforce Connection Centers under the settlement.

Victims of wage theft spoke of their travails at a court hearing in Santa Fe and endorsed the settlement. No one voiced opposition.

AP Analysis: NRA Gave $7.3 Million To Hundreds Of Schools Associated Press

The National Rifle Association has given more than $7 million in grants to hundreds of U.S. schools in recent years. That's according to an Associated Press analysis. But few have shown any indication they'll follow the lead of businesses cutting ties with the group following last month's massacre at a Florida high school.

Florida's Broward County school district is believed to be the first to stop accepting NRA money after a gunman killed 17 people at one of its schools Feb. 14. The teen charged in the shooting had been on a school rifle team that received NRA funding.

But officials in many other districts have no plans to back away.