Clovis Library Shooting Headed For Grand Jury, NM Democrats Push For Chaco Drilling Limits

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Prosecutors Take Clovis Library Shooting Case To Grand JuryAssociated Press

Prosecutors are taking their case to a grand jury as they pursue adult sanctions against a high school sophomore accused in a deadly shooting inside a New Mexico public library.

The proceedings are scheduled for Friday in Clovis.

Sixteen-year-old Nathaniel Jouett is facing charges of first-degree murder, assault, aggravated battery and child abuse in the Aug. 29 shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library. Two employees were killed and four others were wounded.

According to court records, Jouett told investigators during an interview that he initially intended to target his high school and that he somehow ended up at the library. He told investigators he was mad and had been thinking "bad things" for some time but kept his feelings from his family, girlfriend and friends at church.

Troubled Española Gets A New Police Chief -- AgainSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A troubled northern New Mexico city is getting its third police chief this year.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the city of Española has hired Raymond Romero to take over a department days after its new chief retired following a domestic violence indictment.

Española Mayor Alice Lucero says she hopes Romero's leadership will help bring down crime in the Espanola Valley. The area for decades grappled with one of the highest opioid overdose rates in the nation.

According to an analysis by The Associated Press, Espanola has one of the New Mexico's highest violent crime rates.

New Mexico GOP Congressman Urges Action On DACAAssociated Press

The sole Republican member of New Mexico's congressional delegation is urging House Speaker Paul Ryan to work across party lines to find a permanent solution for those immigrants who were brought to the country as children and are living here illegally.

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce sent a letter to Ryan on Wednesday. He accused Congress of staying idle for decades while the executive branch imposed temporary fixes and a patchwork of policies to address immigration issues.

Pearce, who is running for governor of New Mexico, says Congress has a responsibility to find a fair and just solution.

President Donald Trump is ending the Obama-era program that gives immigrants temporary work permits and deportation protections. He has given Congress six months to come up with an alternative.

The state's congressional Democrats have voiced opposition to ending the program.

New Mexico Files Suit Against Opioid Makers, WholesalersAssociated Press

The New Mexico attorney general's office has filed a lawsuit accusing major manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid medication of exacerbating the state's drug addiction crisis.

Attorney General Hector Balderas on Thursday announced the filing of the lawsuit in state district court against five of the nation's largest opioid manufacturers and three major wholesale distributors.

The suit accuses opioid manufacturers of aggressively pushing highly addictive and dangerous drugs and falsely representing to doctors that patients would rarely succumb to addiction. It accuses distributors of failing to monitor, investigate and report suspicious orders of prescription opiates.

Balderas said the lawsuit is modeled after past litigation against tobacco companies to funnel private profits toward drug treatment and law enforcement.

New Mexico's drug overdose death rate is far above the national average.

New Mexico Democrats Push Feds To Limit Drilling Near ChacoAssociated Press

Democratic members of New Mexico's congressional delegation are pushing federal officials to uphold an agreement that limits oil and gas leasing on public land near Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The Bureau of Land Management previously agreed to defer all leases within a 10-mile radius around the park as the agency works to update its resource management plan for northwestern New Mexico.

The agency is also working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs on how to best protect archaeological and cultural sites in the region.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Ben Ray Luján say the Bureau of Land Management recently began the process of leasing areas within the buffer zone. They're asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to maintain the buffer until the planning process is complete.

Judge Denies Bid To Block New Rules On Pretrial ReleaseAssociated Press

A federal judge on Thursday denied a bid to block rules governing new constitutional provisions in New Mexico on pretrial release.

Judge Robert Junell says those seeking to block the rules didn't show they were likely to succeed on their claims.

Voters approved a measure in November that lets judges deny bail to defendants considered extremely dangerous and grants pretrial release to those who aren't considered a threat but remain in jail because they can't afford bail.

The Bail Bonds Association of New Mexico and five lawmakers claimed the rules modified statutory law without legislative approval and violated constitutional protections such as due process.

Artie Pepin, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, says a ruling is expected soon on a request to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the rules.

Ohio Man Gets Life In Prison For New Mexico Officer's DeathAssociated Press

A 39-year-old Ohio man who pleaded guilty to killing a New Mexico police officer last year has been sentenced to life in prison.

State District Judge Douglas Driggers on Thursday to sentenced Jesse Denver Hanes for the Aug. 16 shooting death of Hatch policeman Jose Chavez during a traffic stop.

Under the terms of a guilty plea agreement, Hanes will serve the mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Hanes also recently pleaded guilty in federal court to federal firearms and carjacking charges.

Chavez was a two-year veteran of Hatch police and a father of two children.

Chavez pulled over a vehicle in the farming village of Hatch that was carrying Hanes and two other people.

Authorities have said Hanes fired at Chavez and fled.

New Mexico Governor Looking To Appeal Ruling On Vetoed BillsAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is asking for time to appeal a ruling overturning vetoes on bills before they become law.

The Albuquerque Journal reports a district court judge had overturned the governor's 10 vetoes last month and ruled that Martinez did not follow the proper constitutional procedures when she vetoed the bills. Martinez says she plans to appeal the ruling before Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver can chapter the bills into law. Martinez's lawyers say if the bills are enacted before the appeal, some would release "chain of events" that would be difficult to undo.

The Secretary of State's Office has said it will wait for legal direction before it enacts the 10 bills. Legislators have until Friday to file a response to Martinez's latest motion.

Doña Ana County Jail Director Resigns Under FireLas Cruces Sun-News, Associated Press

The longtime director of the Doña Ana County Detention center has resigned as he faced marijuana possession charges and a move to fire him.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Wednesday that Chris Barela resigned after an administrative hearing where he was contesting a move to fire him.

Barela has pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor marijuana possession charges and has a court date later this month. Local narcotics detectives launched an investigation in April after receiving a tip that Barela had regularly been buying marijuana. Detectives then set up a sting and Barela allegedly purchased pot from undercover operatives.

Barela told the Sun-News he resigned under "eminent threat of termination" after being told the hearing officer would order him fired.

Barela has overseen the county jail since 2005.

New Mexico State Fair Opens ThursdayAssociated Press

Say welcome to green chile apple pie and deep fried chile relleno chile cheese dogs as the New Mexico State Fair kicks off its 10-day run in Albuquerque.

Thursday's noon-hour competition to judge the fair's most unique foods is likely to be the big opening day draw. Competitors are also offering up unusual, New Mexico-centric items like deep fried taco green chile cheese curds and bacon wrapped deep fried green chile pigs in a blanket.

Other surefire crowd-pleasers include barrel-racing dogs and pig and duck races.

The day features free admission for all current law enforcement personnel, $2 general admission for everyone and $12 wristbands allowing unlimited carnival rides starting at 2 p.m.

The fair opens at 10 a.m. and runs through Sept. 17.