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Supreme Court Justice Speaks To Los Alamos LWV

on March 27, 2017 - 10:26am

Chief Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels discusses court functions and bail reform at recent Los Alamos League of Woman Voters' Lunch with a Leader talk at Mesa Public Library. Photo by Maire O'Neill/
Chief Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels with Los Alamos Magistrate Judge Pat Casados, left, and Karyl Ann Ambruster at March's Lunch With A Leader meeting. Photo by Maire O'Neill/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos League of Woman Voters members heard from Chief Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels at their March Lunch with a Leader

Udall To Oppose Gorsuch For Supreme Court

on March 26, 2017 - 8:41am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has announced that he will vote against confirming Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. He issued the following statement: 
"I have met with Judge Gorsuch, followed the hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and studied his record, and I have decided that I can't support his confirmation. 
"The Supreme Court changes people's lives, and its decisions stand for generations.

FBI: Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty To Assaulting Federal And Local Law Enforcement Officers

on March 26, 2017 - 7:32am
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE  Richard Ruiz Leyva, 36, of Las Cruces, pled guilty March 22 in Federal Court to assaulting federal and local law enforcement officers. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Leyva will be sentenced to 82 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Leyva was arrested in August 2016 and charged by a criminal complaint with assaulting and resisting federally commissioned officers of the U.S.

Magistrate Court Results For Thursday, March 23

on March 25, 2017 - 9:51am


Ashley A. Garcia of Hernandez, accused of shoplifting, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and duty to give information and render aid, in connection with a March 9 incident at Bealls Department Store will remain in jail until her May 11 preliminary hearing on previous shoplifting charges.

Garcia, 23, appeared before Magistrate Judge Pat Casados Thursday for her first appearance on the March 9 case where she and another woman, Stephanie Garcia, allegedly struck a pedestrian with a vehicle outside Bealls and fled the scene.

Richard Atencio Charged With Stealing From LANL Heads To First Judicial District Court April 3

on March 24, 2017 - 11:42am

Staff Report

Richard Atencio, 53, of Espanola is slated for a plea hearing in First Judicial District Court April 3 on larceny and tampering with evidence charges in connection with property he allegedly stole in 2015 from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The criminal complaint, filed in Los Alamos Magistrate Court in April 2016, indicates that the value of the property was more than $2,500 and less than $20,000.

Police records indicate Los Alamos Police Cpl. Jack Casias received a telephone call Sept.

Operation Spring Cleaning Defendants Face Judge

on March 24, 2017 - 10:13am


Seven people arrested Tuesday morning during Operation Spring Cleaning, a drug sweep spearheaded by the Los Alamos Police Department, had their first appearances Thursday before Magistrate Judge Pat Casados.

All seven defendants were released on their own recognizance with conditions that include no firearms, no alcohol or drugs, urinalysis requirements, checking in with the probation officer, not being allowed to leave the state without contacting the court, and not being allowed any contact with victims or others involved in the case.

FBI: Rio Rancho Woman Sentenced For Filing False Claim For Federal Tax Refund

on March 24, 2017 - 6:37am

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE – Frances Jo Mehner, 71, of Rio Rancho was sentenced Thursday afternoon in Federal Court in Albuquerque to a 207-day term of imprisonment, which she has already served, followed by a year of supervised release for filing a false claim for a federal tax refund.


Given Mehner’s obstructive behavior toward the IRS, the federal judge also ordered Mehner to comply with several special conditions during her term of supervised release. Mehner is required to file timely, accurate, and lawful tax returns. Mehner also may only communicate with the IRS through a licensed attorney.

Court Briefs

on March 23, 2017 - 3:12pm


Chihyeujim Kao Pleads Guitly To Assault And Battery
Chihyuejim Kao, 61, pleaded guilty to assault and battery against a family member during his arraignment in Los Alamos Magistrate Monday. Kao was arrested March 12 following a domestic disturbance at his home where according to court documents he hit the victim on the head with his palms at which point she locked herself in a room to get away. The victim told officers she hurt her ankle when she jumped to safety from a window because Kao was breaking down the door.

FBI: Navajo Man Sentenced To Decade In Prison

on March 23, 2017 - 8:17am
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE  Norman Yazzie, 56, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock was sentenced March 21 in federal court in Albuquerque to 10 years in prison followed by four years of supervised release for discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
Yazzie was arrested in May 2016 on a criminal complaint charging him with assault and firearms offenses on April 29, 2016, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County.

Los Alamos Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados Represents Judiciary During Legislative Session

on March 23, 2017 - 7:24am
Los Alamos Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados
Los Alamos

Los Alamos Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados seemed relieved that the legislative session was over as she headed to court Monday morning. She has been spending two to three days a week at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe representing the judiciary and in particular the New Mexico Magistrate Judges Association.

Casados has served on the bench since 2003 and was elected president of the association last September.

“I make sure the Magistrate Court Docket is cleared,” she said.

FBI: Kirby Cleveland Charged With Murder Of Navajo Nation Tribal Police Officer

on March 22, 2017 - 2:38pm
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE  Kirby Cleveland made his initial appearance in federal court this morning on a criminal complaint charging him with murder, announced Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.
Cleveland remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing, both of which are scheduled for March 22, 2017.
The criminal complaint, which was filed on March 14, 2017, charges Cleveland, 32, an enrolled member of the

Anti-Hazing Bill Advances Past House

on March 13, 2017 - 6:26pm

Rep. Monica Youngblood

STATE  News:

SANTA FE – This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 427, a bill sponsored by Rep. Monica Youngblood (R-Bernalillo) to prevent hazing in New Mexico’s schools. The House approved the bill by a 56 to 2 vote.

Youngblood’s bill would require every New Mexico educational institution to adopt, post, and enforce a hazing prevention policy. The bill defines what actions are considered hazing and lists the areas that hazing policies need to address to ensure the policies are consistent statewide.

According to recent statistics, forty-eight

Lunch With A Leader Features New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Daniels March 21

on March 13, 2017 - 7:49am
New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Charles W. Daniels
This month’s Lunch with a Leader features Chief Justice Charles Daniels of the New Mexico Supreme Court at 11:45 a.m., March 21 in Mesa Public Library.  
Justice Daniels will discuss bail reform in New Mexico — working to improve public safety while protecting individual rights. He was initially appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2007 by recommendation of the nonpartisan Judicial Nominating Commission. He was unopposed in the 2008 primary and general elections and elected to continue in the position.

Local Police Corporal Files Claim Against Commander

on March 11, 2017 - 11:22am

Los Alamos Police Cpl. Jack Casias files Tort Claim against commander and LAPD. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.xom
Los Alamos Daily Post
  • Officer Files Claim; Police Union Issues List of Grievances

Los Alamos Police Cpl. Jack Casias has filed a Tort Claim against Cmdr. Preston Ballew and the Los Alamos Police Department.

According to the Tort Claim, obtained Friday by the Los Alamos Daily Post, Casias asserts that Ballew intentionally battered him during an Oct. 7, 2016 meeting of several officers at the LAPD.

The claim, filed Nov.

Preliminary Hearing For Daniel Merrill March 20

on March 8, 2017 - 3:17pm

Daniel Merrill

Staff Report

A 29-year-old Los Alamos man was arrested Feb. 24 at Los Alamos Medical Center on charges of assault on a police officer and battery on a police officer during an incident in the hospital’s emergency room.

According to police incident reports, three LAPD officers responded to a report that Daniel Merrill had allegedly checked himself into the emergency room and was treated by hospital staff who reportedly gave him a prescription to be filled at a pharmacy.

Garrett Eckhart Heads To Court On Battery Charge

on March 8, 2017 - 2:31pm

Garrett Eckhart

Staff Report:

A preliminary hearing before Magistrate Judge Pat Casados is slated for March 9 for Garrett Eckhart, 35, of Los Alamos on charges of bribery of a witness, batter on a peace officer, and resisting, evading or obstructing a peace officer.

Eckhart was arrested Feb. 10 on a charge of aggravated battery after police responded to an address on Gold Street where they found a victim with injuries to his back and face. The victim was transported to Los Alamos Medical Center for treatment.

The new charges stem from Eckhart’s alleged return to the scene of the

House Approves Bill To Protect Children

on March 7, 2017 - 7:26am


SANTA FE – On a bipartisan 63 to 1 vote, the House of Representatives approved legislation Monday night sponsored by Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R-Valencia) to protect New Mexico’s children from receiving pornographic images from sexual predators.

House Bill 71 would clarify language in the current statute relating to criminal sexual communication with a child to include all pornographic images. Currently, individuals can only be charged with a crime if they send pornographic pictures of their bodies.

Joseph Dimas Is Sentenced In District Court

on March 6, 2017 - 5:56pm

Joseph Dimas
Los Alamos Daily Post

Judge Mary L. Marlowe Sommers rendered sentenced on former Los Alamos County Transit bus driver Joseph Dimas in First Judicial District Court, Feb. 17, in Santa Fe.

The judge ordered Dimas to register as a sex offender, remain on supervised probation for 10 years and avoid all contact with minors under the age of 16 with the exception of his own children.

Dimas was sentenced after he pled guilty to a charge of child solicitation by electronic communication device (child aged 13 to 16). A second charge of contributing to the

FBI: Sunland Park Heroin Trafficking Ring Leader Pleads Guilty To Federal Narcotics Trafficking Charges

on March 2, 2017 - 8:58am

FBI News:
  • Case Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative, Which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico


ALBUQUERQUE – Raymundo Munoz, 69, of Sunland Park pled guilty Wednesday in federal court in Las Cruces to heroin trafficking charges resulting from a DEA-led investigation targeting a heroin trafficking ring operating out of Sunland Park.


Under the terms of his plea agreement, Munoz will be sentenced to 72 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.


The investigation targeted a heroin trafficking organization led by Munoz

Santa Fe Cardiologist Pleads Guilty To Federal Health Care Fraud Charge

on March 1, 2017 - 2:37pm
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE  Roy G. Heilbron, 53, a cardiologist practicing in Santa Fe, pleaded guilty Feb. 17 in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a health care fraud charge, announced U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Heilbron will be sentenced to two years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Heilbron was charged with health care fraud and wire fraud charges in a 24-count indictment that was filed in June 2015. The

Las Cruces Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing; Defrauding Department Of Veterans Affairs

on February 27, 2017 - 10:48am
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE  Donah E. Davison, 54, of Las Cruces pled guilty Feb.15 in federal court to theft of government property and forgery charges arising out of a scheme to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Davison was charged on Nov. 9, 2016, in a 36-count indictment. The first 27 counts of the indictment charged Davison with embezzling money belonging to the VA by depositing 27 “surviving-spouse” benefit checks to which she was not entitled into her own bank account.

HB 261 - Additional Funding For Courts Becomes Law

on February 26, 2017 - 8:29am

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez


SANTA FE — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has announced that the following legislation has been signed into law:

Signed House Bill 261 – Additional Funding for Courts [MESSAGE]

“I spent most of my career in courtrooms as a prosecutor,” Martinez said. “I’ve seen firsthand just how important it is to fund our courts. I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made with this legislation. It’s always important – and even more so during a budget crisis – that every dollar of government spending be accounted for.”

House Bill 261 funds the courts to address

Los Alamos County Judge Alan Kirk And Rep.Stephanie Garcia Richard Team Up To Pass Courts Bill

on February 26, 2017 - 7:22am

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard of Los Alamos speaks on the House floor last week in santa Fe as Los Alamos Municipal Court Judge Alan Kirk looks on. Courtesy photo


House Bill 110, sponsored by Los Alamos legislator, Stephanie Garcia Richard, successfully passed the House floor in a unanimous vote last week.

A bill developed by the Association of Municipal Judges, HB 110, seeks to allow municipal bench warrants to be served in adjacent counties. Los Alamos Municipal Judge Alan Kirk, current president of the Association was the expert witness on the bill for Rep. Garcia Richard.

Preventing Crime Through Voluntary Home Visits

on February 25, 2017 - 7:40am

  • New Mexico report shows unique value of home visiting programs

ALBUQEURQUE -- On behalf of the 70 New Mexico members of the national anti-crime organization, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden E. Eden, Jr., Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace and 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez have released a state-specific report, Preventing Crime Through Voluntary Home Visiting.

Joined by New Mexico Parents as Teachers, the law enforcement leaders discussed how voluntary home visiting helps reduce rates of child abuse and neglect, which in turn

Judge Sentences Christopher Davis Of White Rock

on February 24, 2017 - 8:23am

Christopher W. Davis


Los Alamos Daily Post

First Judicial District Court Judge Mary L. Marlowe Sommer accepted a plea agreement Feb. 17 for Christopher Davis of White Rock on charges of sexual offenses against minors.

Davis, 25, was arrested Jan. 26 by Los Alamos police on an outstanding warrant from the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General involving charges of alleged sexual offenses against children in two states.

The plea agreement lists charges against Davis as follows:

  • Counts 1, 2, 3, and 4: Criminal sexual penetration of a minor child, 13-16;
  • Count 5: