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New Mexico News

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

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


Election audit prompts pushback from New Mexico auditor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The state auditor is the latest top Democratic official to push back against an independent audit of the 2020 election in one rural New Mexico county. State Auditor Brian Colón's office sent a letter Monday to Otero County commissioners saying the county is deficient in its ability to properly oversee contract compliance. He pointed to a recent contract signed with the private company the county hired to review election records. The letter also says the audit isn't in residents' best interest and amounts to political grandstanding. County Commissioner Couy Griffin says there's no harm in following through with the audit if the state has nothing to hide.


Suspect who wielded gun outside Santa Fe cafe still at large

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a man who pulled out a gun at a Santa Fe restaurant when he was denied a free cup of coffee. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the shooting happened Saturday at Cafe Pasqual's while customers were present. According to the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, the suspect was charged for coffee that he was used to getting free. Restaurant staff said he left but returned. He then climbed on top of furniture outside the cafe and showed the gun. Employees and customers hid in the kitchen. When deputies arrived, both the suspect and customers had fled. Authorities are asking for any witnesses to come forward.


Teen cadet at New Mexico Military Institute reported missing

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a cadet at the New Mexico Military Institute is missing. New Mexico State Police say 15-year-old Peyton Brynn Scarff of Roswell was last seen on campus around 3 p.m. Wednesday and was in her uniform. Police with the Military Institute are asking the public for information to help find Scarff. Authorities say it's still unclear if the teen is a runaway from the public military school that is a four-year high school and two-year junior college.


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.