A Deming man has been found guilty of child sex crimes.
50-year-old Charles Samples was convicted of four sex crimes against a minor following a day-and-a-half jury trial in Sixth Judicial District Court in Deming last week. Samples was found guilty of two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor, and one count of criminal sexual penetration of a child ages 13 to 16. The prosecutor in the case was Deputy District Attorney Armand Velez and the case was tried before District Court Judge Gary Jeffreys. The state called three witnesses to testify against Samples, including the victim and lead investigator Bobby Brookhouser with the Luna County Sheriff's Department. The victim in the case was about 10 years old when the abuse began in 2005. Samples, who is in custody, faces a maximum of 52.5 years in prison; 18 of which are mandatory. Velez said he will be sentenced at a later date.
A Deming home-schooled student placed second in the El Paso Times Spelling Bee Friday.
10-year-old Elena Williams of Deming hung with winner 13-year-old Abigail Spitzer of El Paso for 13 rounds before misspelling "mandir" the Hindu name for a place of worship or prayer.
Spitzer has won the regional bee for the third year in a row. Williams placed 13th last year. The competition featured nearly 180 top spellers from the region. The El Paso Times reported that tears filled Elena's eyes while she stood on stage after the award ceremony. Elena said she was not really good at spelling but just liked to read a lot. She said the contest was really hard and she knew Spitzer was going to do a great job in D-C -- referring to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D-C, from May 27th to June 1st. Elena is the daughter of Trevor and Marlena Williams of Deming.
Two wheelchairs have been donated to the Luna County administrative offices and Luna County district court for use by the general public.
County Manager Kelly Kuenstler said the wheelchairs were donated by a local business -- WheelChair and Walker Rentals, Incorporated -- represented by Richard Holguin and Richard Holguin, Junior.
The wheelchairs will be available for use should any member of the public need assistance while conducting business at either facility.
Kuenstler said the wheelchairs will assist the county in serving the community in a more caring and dependable manner.
She said they want to ensure full access to disabled and elderly persons who might need to use county or district court services.
Kuenstler added that the donation from WheelChair and Walker Rental was greatly appreciated.
Erika Torres, age 31, of Columbus, was arrested for driving while license was suspended or revoked, resisting or evading officers, no driver's license, no insurance, improper registration and failure to sign traffic citations... Bernadette Esparza, age 39, was arrested on an Adult Probation and Parole Office warrant for a probation violation... Vanessa Pacheco, age 22, was arrested on two Magistrate warrants for failure to pay fines... Alyssa Maynes, age 21, was arrested on a Magistrate warrant for failure to pay fines... Jason Switzer, age 24, of Las Cruces, was arrested on a Magistrate warrant for failure to appear... and Jonathan Alvarado, age 24, was arrested on a Magistrate warrant for failure to pay fines.
Also... 300-dollars in criminal damage was reported to a residence off West Pine after a window was broken... tail lights totaling 250-dollars were taken from a location off Santa Cruz... a woman reported being robbed of a C-D player... and a residence off South Ruby was broken into; a list of items taken is being compiled.
A Deming man wanted on an outstanding warrant barricaded himself in a residence off East Maple Friday, prompting a three-hour standoff.
Deming Police Chief Michael Carillo said 30-year-old Jimmy Mathis was taken into custody on the warrant.
Carillo said New Mexico State Police officials were called in to investigate the accidental discharge of a firearm by a deputy, but otherwise Mathis was arrested without incident.
The standoff began at about 11 Friday morning and ended about 2:30.
The public is invited to a retirement reception for Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Gary Jeffreys.
Jeffreys is stepping down from the bench this month, and a coffee reception is planned for Friday, February 16th, from 10am to noon at Luna County District Court, 855 South Platinum.
The solar electricity course previously offered in Deming through the Dona Ana Community College is again being offered at the Luna County Cooperative Extension Service office.
The class introduces students to the specialized vocabulary of solar electricity plus how to harness the sun's energy to pump your well, power part or all of your house or small business, save money on household energy expenses, and make your electric meter spin backwards or remove it all together.
Reportedly, the course is geared to present solid technical information with real-life examples and is described as a wide-ranging, fact-filled, introductory course.
The five-week class will meet on Thursday evenings beginning February 23rd and will run through March 22nd. A field trip to some local solar installations is scheduled for Saturday, March 24th.
No college credit is earned through the course.
Enrollment is now open and only 12 participants will be accepted.
The course costs $50 to cover books and handouts.
To register, contact the Luna County Extension Office at 546-8806.
Jorge Cardoza, age 19, was arrested on an Adult Probation and Parole Office order for a probation violation and on a Magistrate warrant for failure to appear and David Torres, are 47, was arrested on a Magistrate warrant for failure to pay fines.
The Senate has approved a proposal to impose new restrictions on granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
Democrats pushed the measure as an alternative to a proposal by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to stop New Mexico from granting licenses to illegal immigrants.
The Senate approved the bill late Monday night on a 27-15 vote. One Democrat, Senator John Arthur Smith of Deming, joined Republicans in opposing the measure.
The proposal will continue to grant licenses to illegal immigrants, but require fingerprinting of applicants and limit the licenses to one year. The state also can cancel previously issued licenses to foreign nationals if they no longer live in New Mexico.
The bill goes to the House, which has rejected a similar proposal. The governor also opposes the Senate-passed measure.
Deming MainStreet has announced a change in organizational status from "emerging" to "start-up."
Organizers say that along with the status change comes a three-day intensive fact-finding visit from a New Mexico MainStreet resource team.
Team members will be here next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday -- February 22nd through the 24th -- to look closely at downtown Deming's needs and opportunities, and to recommend activities and projects that provide a "blue print" for revitalization in the next 3 to 5 years.
The team will meet with a mix of government and community leaders, downtown business and property owners, community residents, economic and community development organizations, partner organizations, schools and other community institutions.
The focus groups will be strictly confidential, short in duration, open to all applicable interested parties, and will not be attended by any Deming MainStreet board, committee or staff members to ensure a free-flow of ideas, issues and concerns.
Anyone interested in reserving a spot in a focus group session should call Deming MainStreet at 494-1294.