Governor Picks 2 For State Supreme Court, Salesman's Sentence In Sexual Assault Is Inadequate

Jan 26, 2019

Governor Picks 2 For State Supreme Court– Associated Press

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has named two district judges to fill a pair of vacancies on the New Mexico Supreme Court.

The governor on Friday announced Shannon Bacon and David K. Thomson as her choices for the high court. They will replace recently retired Justices Charles Daniels and Petra Maes.

Bacon has served in the state's busiest judicial district since 2010. She's the presiding judge over the Albuquerque-based district's civil division and is an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Thomson has served as a judge in Santa Fe since 2014. He previously worked for more than a decade in the state attorney general's office. Bacon and Thomson were chosen from a list of finalists provided by a nominating commission that had interviewed more than a dozen candidates.

Salesman's Sentence In Sexual Assault Is Inadequate – Associated Press

A salesman who sexually assaulted a Clovis woman who allowed him into her home to demonstrate a vacuum cleaner has been sentenced to three years in prison, a sentence that the judge called inadequate for the crime.

District Judge Fred Van Soelen said during Thursday's sentencing that it was ridiculous that state law specified only three years as the maximum prison sentence for third-degree criminal sexual penetration and said 29-year-old Brandon Barron of Albuquerque was getting a break.

The judge also said Barron hadn't shown remorse and that the March 2017 offense "strikes at a person's right to feel safe in their homes."

A jury convicted Barron Nov. 1.

Migrant With Flesh-Eating Bacteria Detained At US Border– Associated Press

U.S. Border Patrol agents say a man among hundreds of migrants detained in New Mexico in recent days has been diagnosed as having been infected with flesh-eating bacteria.

The man was transported to a hospital after telling an agent that he had a growing rash on his leg. Officials said in a statement Friday the unidentified migrant will require extensive treatment.

Flesh-eating bacteria is a rare condition called necrotizing fasciitis that spreads quickly and can be fatal. The bacteria usually gets into the body through a minor cut or scrape and can cause a serious infection that can destroy muscle, skin and other tissue.

Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the infected area. It's rare for the infection to spread to other people.

The man's home country was not disclosed.

2 Killed In Head-On Semitrailer Collision On I-40– Associated Press

Authorities say two people died in a head-on collision involving two semitrailers on I-40 west of Albuquerque.

Investigators say another person remains in a hospital in critical condition following the crash Thursday afternoon.

Officials with the Bernalillo County Fire Department say a man and a woman were dead when they arrived at the scene. Another man was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital.

It is unclear what caused the incident.

Group: Santa Fe Median Home Prices Hit Record Levels– Associated Press, The Santa Fe New Mexican

The median home price in New Mexico's capital city hit a record level last year.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Santa Fe Association of Realtors numbers show the median home price in the city of Santa Fe in 2018 was $370,000.

The group says that figure, based on sales over the year, surpassed the pre-recession peak of $360,000 in 2007.

The number of home sales in Santa Fe also has increased in the past few years, rising from 842 in 2016 to 1,079 in 2018. The resurgent housing market comes as the Santa Fe area struggles with a shortage of affordable homes and lack of inventory overall. 

Home sales across Santa Fe County saw an even higher median price of $420,000 in 2018 for single-family detached homes.

US To Send Back 20 Migrants Daily In New Asylum Plan– Associated Press

The Mexican government says the United States plans to return 20 migrants per day to Mexico as they await an answer to their U.S. asylum claims.

The spokesman for Mexico's Foreign Relations Department says Mexico doesn't agree with the move, but will accept the migrants.

Roberto Velasco said Friday the first 20 migrants to be returned at the San Ysidro crossing are all Central Americans and all had temporary visas in Mexico. He said the U.S. government wants to "gradually" extend the practice, known as "Remain in Mexico," to the rest of the border crossing points.

Velasco said Mexico won't accept migrants who have appealed a denial of asylum, unaccompanied children or people who have health problems.

Hobbs, Facing Staffing Shortage Amid Oil Boom, Oks Pay Study– Associated Press,Hobbs News-Sun

A southeastern New Mexico city in the heart of the state's oil boom will launch a study focusing on police and firefighters pay.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports the city commission in Hobbs, New Mexico, voted this week to approve a $59,000 compensation study for city employees. The vote comes months after a veteran police officer told city leaders that officers are leaving the Hobbs Police Department in "a mass exodus" due to insufficient pay.

Officials have acknowledged lucrative oil jobs are creating staffing shortages in the police and fire departments.

Hobbs Human Resources Director Nicholas Goulet says the city hasn't had a major overhaul or review of its compensation system in more than 12 years.

The compensation study by Evergreen Services of Tallahassee, Florida, will take about 3 1/2 months.

Man Is Arrested In Dona Ana County For Alleged Bomb Threats– Associated Press

Dona Ana County authorities say a man has been arrested for allegedly making bomb threats.

County sheriff's officials say 37-year-old Samuel Gilpin was wanted on a federal warrant accusing him with malicious threat to injure by fire or explosives.

It was unclear Thursday if Gilpin had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

Sheriff's officials say Gilpin was named as a suspect in an investigation of bomb threats made against the county's Government Center in 2017 and recently against the Third Judicial District Court building in Las Cruces.

Gilpin allegedly made the threats to the government center because he was upset over receiving a notification in the mail letting him know he could only vote in one state and needed to choose where he preferred to be a voter.