Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MDT
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-NEW MEXICO
- SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An open letter signed by 10 political lobbyists and advocates has called for a Democratic state senator to resign or be removed based on new allegations of groping, sexist comments, and yelling and cursing at women at the Statehouse or over drinks nearby. Monday's letter urges leading Democratic and Republican state senators to move forward with an investigation against state Democratic Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto related to earlier allegations of sexual harassment. Ivey-Soto says he will participate in the Legislature's procedures for resolving complaints of harassment and misconduct. But he declined to comment on the allegations.
BC-NM-ESCAPED INMATES CAPTURED
- GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say three inmates who stole a McKinley County Sheriff's Office transport van have been captured. Police say the inmates were being transported Monday by a sheriff's deputy who apparently had a medical episode and had to stop the van. They say the three prisoners _ two men and a woman _ were able to gain control of the van and fled the area. Police located the van near Tohajiilee on Interstate 40. After a lengthy pursuit, police successfully deployed tire deflation devices on the van east of Grants and the three inmates were taken into custody without further incident. Police officials didn't immediately say if the inmates would be facing additional charges after the brief escape.
- FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — More than a dozen tribal communities around the U.S. will share $9 million in federal grant funding for renewable energy projects. The U.S. Department of Energy announced the funding grants Monday. Nearly $1.2 million will support a solar and battery storage project in the Navajo Nation community of Kayenta. Tribal officials say the project will provide internet access and electricity to 24 homes on the vast reservation where an estimated one-third of residents aren't connected to the power grid. The grants won't cover the entire cost of the projects. Recipients will have to chip in.
- ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a man accused of stabbing two people and injuring a third on a commuter rail train in Albuquerque also had a gun at the time. A criminal complaint states New Mexico State Police found a gun in 33-year-old Luis Sanchez's backpack when he was arrested Saturday. He facing charges of aggravated battery, resisting arrest and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Rail Runner officials said Sanchez got into an argument with another male passenger. He allegedly stabbed that passenger and a female security guard before slashing an elderly woman in the shoulder. He was due in court for a first appearance Monday.
- WASHINGTON (AP) — Closing arguments are expected in the trial of an elected official from New Mexico who's the second person tried on charges stemming from the U.S. Capitol riot. U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden is expected to hear attorneys' arguments Tuesday in the case against Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin. Griffin is among hundreds of people charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, siege. The judge heard testimony Monday from three government witnesses. Griffin helped found a group called Cowboys for Trump and claims he's being prosecuted for his political views. Griffin is among the few riot defendants who isn't accused of entering the Capitol or engaging in violence or destruction.
- ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in New Mexico are investigating whether those in a car that crashed while speeding, killing two of the nine people packed inside, were involved in a hit-and-run and the beating of a homeless man reported before the accident. Albuquerque police say it appears alcohol, speed and the amount of people in the vehicle were all factors that led to the driver losing control and the car skidding and smashing into a concrete pillar under Interstate 40 early Sunday. Of the seven injured who were rushed to hospitals, authorities said five were in critical condition and two others had minor injuries.
- ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say two people have died and seven others injured in a car crash in Albuquerque on Interstate 40. They say it appears alcohol, speed and the amount of people inside of the vehicle were all factors in the rollover. City fire and rescue crews were dispatched around 3 a.m. to reports of a rollover on freeway underpass. They say a male and a female were pronounced dead at the scene. Of the seven injured who were rushed to hospitals, authorities say five were in critical condition and two others had minor injuries. They say it appears the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control. The vehicle rolled and hit a concrete pillar.
COWBOYS FOR TRUMP-CHARGE
- SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico elected official is facing a misdemeanor charge for refusing to register the political group Cowboys for Trump. Democratic Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the charge Friday evening. Couy Griffin sued the New Mexico secretary of state in 2020 in response to mounting pressure on Cowboys for Trump to register as a political committee. A federal appeals court last month rejected his arguments. Balderas says that leaves Griffin out of compliance with court orders to register the political group. Griffin says he's working on a new challenge to the reporting requirement and expects to win.