Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT
Only 1 inmate stole McKinley County Sheriff's transport van
GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — Authorities have released updated information about three inmates who reportedly stole a McKinley County Sheriff's Office transport van before being captured. New Mexico State Police officials had said Monday that the inmates were being transported by a sheriff's deputy who apparently had a medical episode and had to stop the van. But county Undersheriff James Maiorano said Tuesday that it was one of the two male inmates _ 35-year-old Joshua Hall _ who slipped out of his handcuffs, faked a heart attack and overpowered the deputy when he opened the van's door. Maiorano says Hall then drove away in the van with the other inmates still shackled in the back. A lengthy pursuit ended when they were taken back into custody.
Official guilty of illegally entering Capitol grounds Jan. 6
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has convicted an elected official from New Mexico of illegally entering restricted U.S. Capitol grounds but acquitted him of engaging in disorderly conduct during the riot that disrupted Congress from certifying Joe Biden's presidential election victory. U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden heard one day of testimony without a jury Monday before handing down a verdict Tuesday in the misdemeanor case against Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin. Griffin's Washington, D.C., trial was the second among the hundreds of federal cases arising from the Jan. 6, 2021, siege. Griffin is among the few riot defendants who wasn't accused of entering the Capitol building or engaging in violent or destructive behavior.
Ex-Las Vegas school guard gets 10 years for sexual abuse
LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A former Las Vegas, New Mexico, school security guard will serve 10 years in prison for sexually abusing a female student. The Las Vegas Optic reports 53-year-old Abran Ulibarri was sentenced Monday at a hearing where the victim, who was 14 at the time, spoke in favor of prison time. Ulibarri pleaded guilty last month to six counts related to sexual abuse. The judge during sentencing said Ulibarri didn't commit an error in judgment but "premeditated, predatory conduct." State investigators found evidence that Ulibarri and the girl, a student at West Las Vegas Middle School, had a sexual relationship for months in 2019.
Political lobbyists denounce harassment by state senator
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.
3 inmates who stole transport van in New Mexico are 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.
Energy grants for US tribes aimed at aiding vast power needs
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.
Man accused of stabbing on Albuquerque train also had gun
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.
Police: Fatal car crash followed hit-and-run, beating
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.