Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. MST
Man extradited from Mexico to stay jailed until murder trial
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico state judge in Roswell has ordered that a man extradited from Mexico remain in jail while awaiting trial in the 2020 strangulation killing of the mother of his young son. Judge Thomas Lilley on Friday denied bond for Jorge Rico-Ruvira after state and district prosecutors argued that the 34-year-old man was dangerous and that no conditions of release would protect the community. Rico-Ruvira is charged with murder in the killing of 27-year-old Isela Sanchez. An Amber Alert was issued for their son when the father fled to Mexico, but officials announced last year that the boy had been found safe.
New Mexico woman found guilty in 2018 double murder
LAS CRUCES (AP) — A New Mexico jury has reached a guilty verdict for a female defendant accused of killing her ex-boyfriend with the help of a new boyfriend in 2018. Prosecutors have argued that Cristal Cardenas and Luis Flores tried to hire a hitman to kill the father of Cardenas' daughter, and did it themselves when it didn't work out. His girlfriend was also killed at their home in Garfield, a town in the southern part of the state. The Las Cruces Sun News reports that a jury found Cardenas guilty on Friday. Flores faces a murder trial in April.
New Mexico health official mark two years of pandemic
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the 7,050 people who have died in the state since the pandemic began. Scrase marked the two-year anniversary of New Mexico's first confirmed COVID-19 infections during a virtual briefing with reporters Friday. He said new infections and hospitalizations have dropped dramatically in recent weeks. Still, he said COVID-19 is a serious disease and the state is making plans to ensure it will be prepared in the event of another surge caused by a new variant.
Man who helped thwart attempted kidnapping killed in crash
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — An 18-year-old Las Cruces man who was hailed as a hero for helping thwart a 2020 attempted kidnapping and assault has died in a motorcycle crash. Police said Canaan Bower was killed Wednesday when his motorcycle collided with a car making a turn. Bower was a 16-year-old high school wrestler when he body-slammed a man who allegedly punched a woman at a bus stop and demanded she turn over her three children to him. Bower intervened and held the man for sheriff's deputies. Bower's mother said on social media that her son lived life to the fullest and "will be forever missed."
Oil companies join fight against US nuclear waste facilities
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Companies operating in the most active oilfield in the United States are the latest opponents of plans to store spent nuclear fuel from commercial power plants in the Permian Basin. There are plans to build interim storage facilities for the radioactive waste — one in West Texas and the other in southeastern New Mexico. The members of the Permian Basin Coalition include Shell Oil Company, the Texas Oil and Gas Association and a number of Texas cities, counties and chambers of commerce. Coalition Chairman Tommy Taylor says global tensions should lead to greater support for domestic production and that production could be threatened by nuclear waste storage in the basin.
New Mexico terror trial in limbo years after compound raid
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge is evaluating the mental health of a woman charged with kidnapping, firearms and terrorism-related counts nearly four years after authorities arrested her and four other adults from an extended family at a squalid New Mexico compound while recovered the remains of a 3-year-old boy. Courtroom deliberations about Haitian national Jany Leveille and her mental health Thursday were sealed from public view to consider whether she is able to understand the charges against her. An FBI agent has testified that Leveille's two teenage sons said they were trained with firearms in preparation for a religious resurrection that would spur attacks against the government.
New Mexico regulators consider more oil and gas rules
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators are considering whether to adopt another set of rules proposed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's administration to crack down on pollution across the oil and natural gas sector. The proposal that the state Environmental Improvement Board started discussing Thursday is the second part of the Democratic governor's plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Rules already have been adopted to limit venting and flaring as a way to reduce methane pollution. This effort focuses on oilfield equipment that emits smog-causing pollution. Consideration of the rules comes amid instability in the global energy market and the renewed debate over domestic production.
New Mexico governor sets sights on building hydrogen economy
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has taken another step aimed at putting New Mexico on the hydrogen map. She signed an executive order Thursday that directs members of her cabinet to work together in pursing opportunities for building a "green" hydrogen economy. The order also calls for hydrogen to be included as a key sector for the state Economic Development Department. The Democratic governor said creating a roadmap based on the state's energy priorities will provide predictability for businesses. She also announced a multimillion-dollar investment by Universal Hydrogen to build a manufacturing center in Albuquerque that will support its plans to fuel the aviation industry.