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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MST


NEW YORK (AP) — ABC News has released a clip in which Alec Baldwin tells George Stephanopoulos that he did not pull the trigger on a gun that went off on a New Mexico film set, killing a cinematographer. The interview will air as a prime-time special Thursday on ABC and will stream later on Hulu. Baldwin fired a prop gun that had been loaded with live ammunition. The cinematographer was killed and the film's director was injured. It is the first time Baldwin has spoken in depth on screen about the shooting. ABC News says it will do a more in-depth report on the investigation into the killing next week on "20/20." 


NEW YORK (AP) — The defense at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell is trying to cast doubt on a key accuser's allegation that the British socialite helped financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually the woman for years, starting when she was 14. A lawyer confronted the witness on Wednesday with FBI documents the defense says show she's made inconsistent statements about Maxwell's participation in the abuse. She responded by disputing the accuracy of the papers. The 59-year-old Maxwell pleaded not guilty to charges that prosecutors say show that she and Epstein were "partners in crime." The defense has countered by claiming she's being made a scapegoat for Epstein.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are pursuing new leads on possible sources of live ammunition involved in actor Alec Baldwin's fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of a western movie. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday searched the premises of an Albuquerque-based firearms and ammunition supplier to the film "Rust." The supplier says he may know where live rounds came from, describing ammunition he received from a friend in the past that had been assembled from parts. Baldwin fired a prop revolver he thought was harmless during a "Rust" rehearsal on Oct. 21, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding the director.


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Tuesday reported 41 more COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the second consecutive day. The latest daily virus figures brought the tribe's totals to 39,477 cases since the pandemic began. The known death toll remains at 1,542. Based on cases from Nov. 12-25, the Navajo Department of Health on Monday issued an advisory for 65 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. Tribal President Jonathan Nez says some public health experts believe the newly discovered omicron variant is already in the U.S. Nez has again called for everyone on the vast reservation to get fully vaccinated or get a booster shot and wear masks. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — National Park Service officials say dozen ancient alligator juniper trees have been illegally cut down in the El Malpais National Monument in western New Mexico. They're asking for the public's help to stop the cutting of the tree found in the Southwest. Alligator junipers grow very slowly and are known for unique furrowed bark that resembles alligator skin. The initial discovery of the illegal tree cutting was reported in 2020. Park law enforcement officials have been monitoring the area and over the past year have reported additional illegal cutting of the trees. The latest incident happened in October.


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The police chief on the Navajo Nation is stepping down to oversee a much-smaller police department in the town where he grew up. Phillip Francisco took over the Navajo Nation Police Department in 2016 after the position had been vacant for several years. He said Tuesday he's leaving at the end of December to become police chief in Bloomfield, New Mexico. Navajo President Jonathan Nez credited Francisco with re-establishing the tribe's police academy in Chinle, advocating for higher salaries and maintaining a police force that's severely understaffed. Francisco says his new role will put him closer to retirement. Daryl Noon will take over as Navajo police chief. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Navy is sending a 20-member medical team to New Mexico to help the San Juan Regional Medical Center cope with a staff shortage for treating COVID-19 patients. The military team is being deployed at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is scheduled to arrive at the Farmington hospital on Sunday. Officials say New Mexico is one of seven states where military teams are deployed or soon will. According to a U.S. Army North spokeswoman, Dr. Nicole Wieman, the teams "are there to decompress the burden of treating COVID patients."