Religious Leaders Criticize GOP On Death Penalty Efforts, Counterfeit Ring Busted

Oct 8, 2016

Religious Leaders Criticize GOP For Death Penalty DecisionAssociated Press

Religious leaders in New Mexico are slamming the governor and House Republicans for voting to reinstate the death penalty during an all-night special session, leaving little opportunity for a debate.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that while the efforts were made futile after the Senate refused to consider the bill, the condemnation is indicative of the conflict the issue is sure to draw when the Legislation reconvenes in January.

At a news conference Thursday, Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester called the move to reinstate the death penalty overnight "offensive."

Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld of Congregation Albert in Albuquerque says the death penalty issue would have been more suited for a regular legislative session, rather than the all-night special session.

Jury To Resume Deliberations In Police Shooting Next WeekAssociated Press

Jurors have wrapped up their first full day of deliberating the fate of two former Albuquerque police officers without reaching a verdict.

The 12-member jury went home Friday, telling a judge they need more time to weigh second-degree murder charges against now-retired Detective Keith Sandy and former Officer Dominique Perez.

Jurors will resume deliberating on Tuesday morning.

Sandy and Perez fatally shot 38-year-old James Boyd on March 16, 2014, after an hours-long standoff. Police video of the shooting sparked protests in Albuquerque amid mounting frustrations over more than 20 fatal shootings in a four-year period.

The video shows Boyd appearing to gather his bags and telling officers he'll walk down a hillside with them, when a flashbang goes off, he pulls two knives and is shot seconds later.

Probation Term For Ex-Purchasing Agent For New Mexico TribeAssociated Press

The former purchasing agent for the Jicarilla Apache Nation has been sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for embezzling funds from the New Mexico tribe.

Federal prosecutors say 46-year-old Vanessa Cohoe was indicted last December on theft of funds.

The indictment alleged that Cohoe embezzled about $23,000 from the tribe between December 2010 and May 2011.

It also alleged that she embezzled more than $1,000 by using the Jicarilla Apache Nation's credit card on eight separate occasions in early 2011.

Cohoe pleaded guilty in the case in May.

She was the purchasing agent for the Jicarilla Apache Nation from 2007 to 2011.

Cohoe was suspended in May 2011 and fired the following months after the embezzlement scheme was discovered and investigated.

Trial Set For Mom, Others Charged In New Mexico Girl's DeathAssociated Press

A trial has been scheduled for three suspects charged in the horrific killing and rape of a 10-year-old New Mexico girl.

Fabian Gonzales, Jessica Kelley and the victim's mother, Michelle Martens, are set to stand trial October 2, 2017, for the death of Victoria Martens. They are charged with child abuse resulting in death, kidnapping and tampering with evidence in connection with the girl's killing.

Victoria was found dead by police in her mother's apartment the day she was to celebrate her 10th birthday, with authorities saying her remains had been wrapped in a blanket and set on fire in a bathtub.

Albuquerque District Court Judge Charles Brown said Friday all three suspects could request separate trials at a status conference April 10, 2017.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

Counterfeit Money Manufacturing Ring Busted In New MexicoAssociated Press

Dona Ana County Sheriff's detectives say they've have uncovered a counterfeit money manufacturing ring and one suspect in the case is facing 104 counts of forgery.

The investigation began last month after the manager of a Las Cruces pizza delivery company reported fake bills used in a transaction between a driver and a customer.

Detectives traced the money back to a home where a search warrant uncovered several pieces of equipment that detectives suspect were used to manufacture all denominations of bills from $1 to $100.

They say nearly $3,300 in counterfeit bills were seized from the house.

Authorities say the fake bills possibly were passed at businesses in Las Cruces and Alamogordo.