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

Nov 4, 2019

Border Patrol agent shoots, kills gunman who opened fireSUNLAND PARK, New Mexico (AP) — Border Patrol officials say an agent shot and killed a gunman who opened fire about a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border.U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that the agent encountered four people early Monday in Sunland Park, New Mexico, a suburb of El Paso, Texas.One of them pulled a gun and shot at the agent, who fired back. No agents were hurt.The CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the shooting by the agent, who is assigned to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol station in New Mexico.Border Patrol agents blocked off the crime scene, closing a main road in Sunland Park and stretching crime tape between their patrol vehicles.The armed man died at a hospital. No other details have been released.


New Mexico's top court examines 'warrior-gene' defenseSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court is considering whether evidence of a genetic predisposition toward violence should have been allowed in the trial of a man convicted of murder in 2015.Oral arguments were scheduled Monday in an appeal stemming from the conviction of Anthony Blas Yepez in the killing of his girlfriend's 75-year-old step-grandfather during a domestic dispute in 2012.The state Court of Appeals says evidence was improperly excluded at trial that Yepez had a so-called warrior gene variant linked to aggressive and violent behavior. The appeals court also found the omission was harmless and would not have had a bearing on the second-degree murder conviction against Yepez.State prosecutors fear the appeals court decision left the door open to an unsubstantiated scientific theory in court.


New Mexico GOP sues to halt absentee voting in Las CrucesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Republican Party of New Mexico says it will sue the state's Secretary of State and a southern county clerk to halt the counting of absentee ballots.GOP officials are scheduled Monday to discuss the party's lawsuit against the state Secretary of State and the Doña Ana County Clerk around allegations both are ignoring a 2019 law over for absentee voting.Republicans say the law calls for absentee voters to provide s names, addressed, and years of birth. The state GOP claims some Doña Ana voters have submitted improper ballots in the Las Cruces mayoral race.Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver spokesman Alex Curtas says the statewide guidance on absentee voting the office provided complies with the intent of the law.Doña Ana County Clerk Amanda Lopez Askin also did not immediately return an email.


Albuquerque faces ethics beef for pro-bond push on websiteALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A conservative-leaning group says it will file an ethics complaint against the city of Albuquerque for a pro-bond push posted on the city's taxpayer-funded website.Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing told The Associated Press on Monday his group will file an ethics complaint after Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller urged city residents on the city's website to vote 'YES' Wednesday on the proposed general obligation bond.Keller says the bond would fund a new library and give police more vehicles and equipment.Gessing says election laws prevent cities, counties, and school districts from using tax-funded websites to push a stance on bonds or mill levies.Albuquerque spokesman Matthew Ross did not immediately respond to an email.


Boeing crew capsule launched mile into air on test flightCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Boeing's crew capsule is back on land after a brief flight to test its launch abort system.The Starliner capsule carried no astronauts Monday morning, just a test dummy.Boeing plans to launch the Starliner to the International Space Station next month, without a crew. The abort system will provide a fast getaway for the three astronauts if there's an emergency on the Florida pad or in flight.During Monday's test, Boeing counted down to zero, then the Starliner's launch abort engines fired. The capsule soared nearly a mile (1,300 meters), then parachuted back into the New Mexico desert. The entire flight lasted one-and-a-half minutes.Only two of the three main parachutes deployed, but NASA said astronauts would have been safe if aboard.Next up is an orbital test flight.


High-profile attorney in New Mexico arrested for 2nd DWIALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A high-profile defense attorney in New Mexico is facing his second drunken driving charge this year.David Serna was arrested Saturday in Albuquerque after police said he crashed his Mini Cooper into another car.According to a criminal complaint, the 66-year-old Serna admitted to having a beer an hour and a half before the accident after telling police he hadn't been drinking. Court documents also say Serna told authorities he had taken nerve pain medication and oxycodone earlier in the day.Police say a breathalyzer test showed Serna had a blood alcohol content of 0.16 — twice the legal limit in New Mexico.Serna was arrested and charged with aggravated drunken driving. Serna did not immediately respond to a phone message.His latest arrest comes months after prosecutors dropped another drunken driving case.


New Mexico delegation takes aim at US West's water scarcityCARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — As things begin to dry out again in New Mexico, members of the arid state's congressional delegation are looking for ways to combat water scarcity here and across the American West.U.S. Sen. Tom Udall is blaming climate change for growing water scarcity, worrying that New Mexico snowpacks were getting smaller and unable to adequately feed the Rio Grande and the rest of the state's groundwater supplies.He and other lawmakers last week introduced the Western Water Security Act of 2019. They say the goal is to strengthen New Mexico's water infrastructure and focus efforts on conservation and the restoration of water supplies throughout the West.The latest federal drought map shows a big pocket of moderate to severe drought over the Four Corners region, where New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah meet.


Time ticks away at wild bison genetic diversitySANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Evidence is mounting that wild North American bison are gradually shedding their genetic diversity across many of the isolated herds overseen by the U.S. government, weakening future resilience against disease and climate events in the shadow of human encroachment.Advances in genetics are bringing the concern in to sharper focus.Preliminary results of a genetic population analysis commissioned by the National Park Service show three small federal conservation herds would almost certainly die off within 200 years under current wildlife management techniques.Answers to protecting genetic diversity may lie in the transfer of bison between unlike herds or initiatives to create larger herds.North America's bison squeezed through a genetic bottleneck of fewer than 1,000 animals in the late 1800s.