Court Allows Return Of Asylum Seekers To Mexico, Clovis Officer Found 'Justified' In Fatal Shooting

Apr 13, 2019

Federal Court Allows Return Of Asylum Seekers To Mexico – Associated Press

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a judge's order that would have stopped the Trump administration from returning asylum seekers to Mexico.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay Friday.

A three-judge panel set a Tuesday deadline for civil liberties groups to submit arguments why the order blocking the Trump administration should take effect. It set a Wednesday deadline for the government to argue why the policy should remain in place.

Judge Richard Seeborg ruled Monday in favor of civil liberties groups who want to halt the practice while their lawsuit moves forward challenging the policy. His order had been set to take effect Friday afternoon.

Seeborg said the policy violates U.S. law by failing to evaluate dangers migrants face in Mexico.

The government says Seeborg's order is erroneous and endangers the public during a humanitarian crisis at the border.

Prosecutors: Clovis Officer Justified In Fatal ShootingAssociated Press

Prosecutors have decided a Clovis police officer was justified in the fatal shooting of a car theft suspect last October and that no prosecution is warranted.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb announced Thursday she would abide by the findings of a panel of three other district attorneys concerning Officer Brent Aguilar's shooting of Aaron Chavez.

The panel's report said lapel camera video showed that the officer shot Chavez to protect himself and potentially a police sergeant during a foot pursuit when Chavez swung a chainsaw chain modified for use as a weapon at Aguilar.

Reeb said she referred the case to the panel for review because the officer's father is Reeb's chief investigator.

Jury Finds Man Guilty Of Murder In Officer DeathAssociated Press

A jury has found a 38-year-old man who fatally shot an Albuquerque police officer in 2015 guilty of first-degree murder.

The jury returned its verdict Friday against Davon Lymon after about two hours of deliberations.

Prosecutor Clara Moran had argued that Lymon made "a deliberate and conscious choice to take the life of Daniel Webster." The 47-year-old officer was attempting to handcuff Lymon to a motorcycle during an October 2015 traffic stop the night that he was fatally shot.

Lymon's attorney argued he was in fear for his life when he opened fire.

Lymon already had been sentenced in federal court to nearly four decades in prison after being convicted of firearms-related charges and other crimes.

Las Cruces Psychiatrist Accused Of Patient Sexual AssaultsAssociated Press

A Las Cruces psychiatrist is suspected of sexually assaulting multiple female patients.

Police say 72-year-old Mark Beale was arrested Friday on suspicion of criminal sexual penetration, criminal sexual contact and battery.

Beale has been under investigation by police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration since October.

Authorities say they received complaints from six patients who ranged in age from 21 to 60. They say Beale forced them into sexual intercourse or sexual contact since January 2015. They say the incidents took place in his office and, in one instance, a woman's home.

Beale is also suspected of prescribing medication to patients without properly diagnosing their symptoms.

Beale will be booked into Dona Ana County jail. He is likely to be held without bond.

It wasn't known if he had an attorney.

Growing Number Of States Move To Shield Lottery Winners – Associated Press

A growing number of states are moving to allow the winners of big lottery jackpots to stay anonymous as privacy concerns are increasingly trumping lottery groups' wishes to publicize winners to boost sales and show that the games are fair.

Arizona could be the next state to join at least nine others with laws that let winners keep their names secret under a proposal headed to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. Four years ago, just five states allowed anonymous winners, and a handful of others allowed trusts to claim prizes.

At least eight state legislatures considered measures shielding winners' names this year. Virginia's governor signed legislation allowing winners of $10 million or more to remain anonymous. Proposals in Arkansas and Connecticut failed, while efforts in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oregon are still being considered.

New Mexico's governor last week axed a similar proposal, with a spokesman saying Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham decided to prioritize transparency.

"To be sure, the governor is clear about the concerns raised by proponents, i.e., that certain bad actors could take advantage of lottery winners if their names are made public," spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said in a statement. But "New Mexicans should have every confidence in the games run by the lottery."

Arizona's governor hasn't weighed in on the proposal before him.

The Arizona Lottery took no official position, but spokesman John Gilliland said "it is important that we have that transparency, because the lottery is nothing without integrity."

"And the only way the public has an absolute guarantee of integrity as far as real people winning these prizes is to be able to know who wins these prizes," he said this week.

Republican state Rep. Nancy Barto introduced the measure, saying she wanted to protect winners from harassment. State Rep. John Kavanagh pushed for current law that shields winners' names for 90 days but said this week that it doesn't go far enough.

"After 90 days, the person is then subjected to all sorts of people hitting them up for loans, investment advisers trying to make them a client and the potential to be victimized by a burglar or, if it's a massive amount, having their kid kidnapped," the Republican said.

Balancing those concerns against the Lottery's interests in transparency isn't a close call, he said.

That's in line with a New Hampshire judge's decision last year to allow the winner of a nearly $560 million Powerball jackpot to stay anonymous. The woman signed the ticket before she realized that state law would let her create a trust to shield her identity. The judge noted that she could be harassed or solicited for money.

Trusts are allowed in at least two other states besides New Hampshire, while a policy from South Carolina's lottery board allows anonymity. The winner of a $1.5 billion ticket bought at a South Carolina convenience store last year remains unknown under that policy.

Lottery fraud is a concern. In 2017, a programmer for the Multi-State Lottery Association got up to 25 years in prison for rigging a computer program to enable him to pick winning numbers in games in Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma between 2005 and 2011.

The executive director of the Iowa-based lottery association, which runs the Powerball game in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said he understands why some states are moving toward winner secrecy.

"However, the disclosure of winner names is one way lotteries are working to keep the process transparent," association Executive Director J. Bret Toyne said. "It shows the public that everyday people are randomly winning the prizes."