Blowout Causes Fatal Crash On I-40, Petition Aims To Limit Immigration Enforcement At Courts

Aug 30, 2018

Police Say Four People Killed In New Mexico Bus Crash- Associated Press

New Mexico authorities say multiple people have been killed in a Greyhound bus crash along Interstate 40.

Authorities say preliminary information indicates a blown tire on a semi-truck is to blame for a head-on crash that killed at least four people and injured numerous others aboard a commercial passenger bus.

New Mexico State Police say the semi was headed east when one of its tires blew, sending the rig across the median and into oncoming traffic where it slammed into the Greyhound bus.

Police say a number of bus passengers were transported to hospitals with serious injuries.

They could not immediately say how many people were injured.

A phone number was set up for family members seeking more information about people who were aboard the bus.

Greyhound says the bus was heading from Albuquerque to Phoenix and there were 49 passengers on board.

Kids Of 3 Released In Compound Case Remain In Foster Care- Associated Press

New Mexico officials are keeping five children in foster care after their parents had charges of child neglect dismissed following the arrest of the parents this month at a desert compound.

State Children, Youth and Families Department spokesman Henry Varela said Thursday that the five children of Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj will remain in foster care while health and trauma assessments are carried out.

A judge released the three Wednesday after prosecutors missed a case deadline.

Two other defendants remain jailed on more serious charges of child abuse resulting in the death of a 3-year-old boy. Their six children remain in foster care.

3 New Mexico Compound Defendants ReleasedAssociated Press, Santa Fe New Mexican, KOB-TV

Authorities have confirmed three of the defendants arrested on child neglect charges in the New Mexico compound case have been released from jail after a judge dismissed charges against them due to a missed deadline by prosecutors.

The Taos County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj left the jail late yesterday afternoon.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported state district court judges dismissed child abuse charges against all five defendants because prosecutors did not schedule preliminary hearings within 10 days of their incarceration.

Two other defendants remain jailed on more serious charges of child abuse resulting in the death of a 3-year-old boy whose body was found at the compound earlier this month.

KOB-TV reported District Attorney Donald Gallegos said he will refile charges.

Woman Fatally Shot By Deputy After Stealing Patrol Car- Associated Press

Investigators say a county sheriff's deputy fatally shot a New Mexico woman after she drove away in a police cruiser with a suspect in the back seat.

New Mexico State Police released more details Thursday about the Aug. 23rd shooting.

They say deputies were responding to a burglary when they encountered several people, including 45-year-old Daniel Ibuado of Belen. Ibuado was wanted on an outstanding warrant for aggravated burglary and taken into custody and placed in the back of a patrol car.

As deputies were talking with him, 34-year-old Virginia Romero of Belen got into the patrol car's front seat and began to drive away.

Deputy Ashley Martinez fired at Romero, striking her once. The patrol car crashed and Romero was pronounced dead at the scene.

14 Las Cruces Residents Suspected Of Drug Trafficking- Las Cruces Sun-News, Associated Press

Authorities say they have arrested 13 Las Cruces residents suspected of participating in a heroin trafficking circle.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports authorities announced Tuesday that 15 people are facing federal heroin trafficking charges as the result of a two-year multi-agency investigation.

A statement from the Department of Justice says 13 of the 15 defendants in the case were in custody as of Tuesday.

Authorities have not been able to apprehend a Mexican man suspected of being the source of supply for a heroin trafficking operation that supplied heroin to couriers that would smuggle the drug from Ciudad Juarez to El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces.

A Las Cruces man also facing charges related to the heroin trafficking ring is also on the run.

All the defendants face up to 40 years in prison if convicted.

Petition Aims To Limit Immigration Enforcement At Courts- Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Immigrant advocates are petitioning the New Mexico Supreme Court to enact rules that would make it harder for federal authorities to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally at state courthouses.

A group gathered Wednesday outside Albuquerque's Metropolitan Courthouse with petitions that included the signatures of dozens of attorneys and several retired judges.

They want to prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from serving administrative warrants in and around courts. Instead, they would have to obtain judicial warrants signed by a judge.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the petition also asks for a rule that would allow a court to issue writs of protection for individuals who fear they may be subject to civil detention at or near a courthouse.

The petition includes a list of incidents in which immigrants were arrested in or near courthouses since 2017.

New Mexico Village Attacked By Pancho Villa Eyes New GazeboDeming Headlight, Associated Press

Residents of a New Mexico village famous for being attacked by Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa is seeking to restore its gazebo.

The Deming Headlight reports business leaders in the village of Columbus are working to rebuild a gazebo in its historic plaza after it was torn down a few years ago because of hazardous conditions.

The gazebo was once an important gathering place and landmark for this historic village 30 miles south of Deming, New Mexico, and three miles north of Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico.

The plaza dates back to the town's raid by Villa in 1916. Eighteen Americans and scores of Villa's fighters died in the raid.

U.S. Army General John "Black Jack" Pershing chased Villa back into Mexico but never caught him.

Hispanic, Native American Santa Fe 'Peace Plan' AnnouncedAssociated Press

Hispanic and Native American leaders, whose dispute over an annual reenactment of a 17th-century Spanish conquistador reclaiming Santa Fe that has been compared to the debate over Confederate monuments, have announced new plans for "reconciliation."

The All Pueblo Council of Governors, Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and Los Caballeros De Vargas announced Wednesday a new list of events that seek to ease centuries-old tensions around the myth of Santa Fe being reclaimed by Spanish settlers from Native Americans.

Organizers of the annual Fiesta de Santa Fe recently agreed to discontinue the event known as the Entrada.

Instead, Santa Fe will play host to a month-long celebration that will kick off with a Pregón de la Fiesta Catholic Mass and Po'Pay's Pueblo Dancers on September 7 and end with Indigenous Peoples Day on October 8.

Federal Appeals Court Says Swindler's Sentence Too LenientSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A federal appeals court says a judge was too easy when sentencing a former Santa Fe investment adviser for defrauding clients out of more than $1 million.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Matthew Sample's sentence, saying he incorrectly got probation instead of prison time because he earned a lot of money.

Judge Carlos Lucero wrote, "Our system of justice has no sentencing discount for wealth."

U.S. District Judge Judith Herrera sentenced Sample to five years of probation in 2017 after Sample pleaded guilty to one count of "fraud and swindles" and one count of wire fraud.

Lucero wrote that a federal sentencing commission considers Sample's crimes deserving of approximately seven years in federal prison.

Lawsuit Likely Over Straight-Ticket OptionAssociated Press

The Republican Party of New Mexico is planning to take legal action after the state's top elections official reinstated the option of straight-ticket voting in which a voter can choose candidates from the same party all at once.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, says the option will make voting easier.

But Republicans describe the move as a partisan maneuver.

State GOP Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi says the change will benefit Toulouse Oliver's own re-election bid and he questioned the hasty effort to bring it back with the 2018 general election fast approaching.

Cangiolosi also questioned Toulouse Oliver's ability to referee New Mexico's elections while also being a candidate, suggesting that it undermines any confidence New Mexico voters can have in the fairness of the election.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico supported the return of straight-ticket voting.

New Mexico Investment Panel Approves Pay-To-Play SettlementsAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

New Mexico's State Investment Council has approved two settlements that will allow the state to recover another $850,000 in connection with politically influenced investment deals brokered during the administration of former Gov. Bill Richardson.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that will bump the total amount recouped by the state to more than $41 million. The council has entered more than a dozen settlements with financial firms and investment consultants as part of its legal effort.

Under the latest agreements, the council agreed to drop legal claims against two outside firms.

The settlements hinge on payments made more than a decade ago to Marc Correra, a politically connected placement agent. One firm, HM Capital, was a Dallas-based investment manager that got a $30 million investment deal with the state. The other, Cabrera Capital Markets, worked with Correra.