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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. MDT

  • Officer killed during Feb. traffic stop had asked for rifle

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Newly released information on the killing of a New Mexico State Police Officer during a Feb. 4 traffic stop indicates he was caught by surprise when a man who'd agreed to temporarily surrender a rifle instead opened fire. According to a State Police statement and video excerpts released Friday, 39-year-old Omar Felix Cueva of Deming fired at least once at Officer Darian Jarrott across the pickup truck's bed and then fatally shot Jarrott after he ducked and fell.  Authorities previously said Cueva fatally shot Jarrott after being pulled over on Interstate 10 west of Las Cruces. Cueva later died in a shootout with other officers after a pursuit.

  • Tucson officials learn more about planned migrant facility

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A U.S. Border Patrol officials has told Tucson officials that a tent-like facility planned in the southern Arizona city to temporarily house migrants will be located near the city's airport and be completed in about a month. The Arizona Daily Star reports that John Modlin said Friday in an email that the facility will be designed to hold 500 people but its working capacity will likely be 150-200 due to COVID-19 considerations and litigation-related restrictions. Modlin is interim head of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. Councilman Steve Kosachik said the planned facility likely will hold unaccompanied minors encountered by the Border Patrol.

  • Navajo president vetoes reopening tribal roads to visitors

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has vetoed a resolution to reopen tribal roads on the reservation to tourists and other visitors. Nez said Friday in a statement that he vetoed the resolution approved March 31 by the Navajo Nation Council because COVID-19 variants are spreading in the region and because more people need to be vaccinated to move closer to herd community. Nez also said the Navajo people's health must be prioritized over visitors' desires. The closure does not affect state highways that pass through the reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

  • Police arrest man accused of carjacking good Samaritan

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The family of a 62-year-old woman says she is still in a Texas hospital after a man she offered to help stole her car in New Mexico and ran over her legs. KRQE-TV reported Friday that Alyson Lyons is receiving treatment for severe road rash, gashes to her head, a fractured wrist and her legs. Her family said Lyons offered to drive the man to a truck stop. On the way, the man allegedly pulled a knife, forced her out and struck her with the car as he drove off. New Mexico State Police arrested 22-year-old Mario Caballero after he led police in a pursuit in Lyons' vehicle. Caballero's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

  • Church official warns of financial flood due to abuse claims

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A top official with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe says a financial flood from clergy sex abuse claims is coming and a settlement is the dam to prevent devastation to parishes. A letter from the Rev. Glennon Jones is posted on the archdiocese's website, saying that progress is being made in collecting donations for a bankruptcy settlement involving hundreds of allegations of abuse perpetrated by priests and other clergy over the decades. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the archdiocese filed for reorganization in late 2018 to deal with the surge of claims. An estimated $52 million has been paid in out-of-court settlements to victims in prior years.

  • Demolition of Bernalillo County's closed jail underway

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The months-long process of demolishing Bernalillo County's long-closed old jail has started in downtown Albuquerque. KRQE-TV reports that a construction company's crews are working inside the building to remove fixtures and other items for recycling or for safety reasons. Demolition and creation of the parking area is expected to take roughly 10 months at a cost of about $2.4 million. The building had not been used as a jail for about a decade. The plan is to use the property for a 150-space parking lot for county vehicles, as least until a better use surfaces.

  • New Mexico governor vetoes include police oversight reforms

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has vetoed a bill to overhaul oversight of police training and misconduct reviews. The governor said in a veto message Friday that the bill would have changed the composition of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board and eliminated two citizen members unaffiliated with law enforcement. She said the would have insulated the board from any civilian oversight and reduced accountability. The veto strikes down a bill that also included an increase in financial payouts to relatives of officers killed in the line of duty. The governor voiced no objection to that provision.

  • Navajo Nation reports 26 new COVID-19 cases, orders lockdown

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has issued a stay-at-home order for the weekend after reporting 26 more confirmed COVID-19 cases. The latest figures bring the total number of cases on the tribe's reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, to 30,239. No additional deaths were reported. The current death toll is 1,260. The weekend stay-at-home order follows an increase of infections and the announcement this week of the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 B.1.429 variant on the Navajo Nation. The variant was first identified in the state of California and has since been detected across the southwest U.S.