- WITNESS TESTIMONY STANDARD
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a man's first-degree murder convictions in the 2014 killings of two Santa Fe teens as the justices set a new standard for courts to consider eyewitness testimony identifying a criminal suspect. The justices upheld Ricardo Martinez's convictions in the 2014 shooting deaths of 18-year-old Venancio Cisneros and Cisneros' 13-year-old girlfriend, who the ruling identified only by initials. The new standard precludes admission of eyewitness identifications produced by "unnecessarily suggestive" police procedures. The ruling said the eyewitness testimony was properly admitted at trial both under the newly adopted state standard and a federal rule it replaced.
- POLICE SHOOTING-LOS LUNAS
LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico State Police says one of its officers was involved in a shooting Thursday that left a suspect injured. The State Police said the shooting occurred in Los Lunas on the southern outskirts of metro Albuquerque and that the officer involved wasn't injured. The statement provided no details on the circumstances of the shooting, identities of those involved or the condition of the injured suspect.
- ELECTION 2020-ARIZONA-NATIVE VOTE
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Turnout on tribal land in northern Arizona surged this year, helping Joe Biden carry a state that hadn't gone to a Democrat since 1996. Clara Pratte, a Navajo woman who was the national tribal engagements director for the Biden campaign, says the credit is widespread among minority groups. But she says the win wouldn't have been possible without the tribal vote. Arizona includes part of the country's largest Native American reservation, where voters overwhelmingly supported Biden and cast more ballots than they did in 2016. Voting rights advocates had long argued that if Native Americans and other minority groups were mobilized, they could be decisive in a tight race. This year proved that.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials are reporting that daily confirmed positive cases have swelled to a record 2,897 cases. They also reported Wednesday an additional 26 deaths. Following a set of restrictions rolled out Monday in an attempt to "reset" the state's fight against the virus, the governor is issuing additional tightening on the definitions of essential businesses. Big box stores must do at least a third of their business selling essential goods like food or offering essential services like vehicle repair in order to allow customers inside stores. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is urging all businesses to move to curbside sales as much as possible.
- ELECTRIC VEHICLES-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico would add 28 electric vehicles to its fleet for state agencies under a budget request to legislators from the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Adding the electric vehicles would cost about $1 million under a request from the General Services Department. Agency Secretary Ken Ortiz on Tuesday urged a panel of legislators to include the spending in draft legislation. General Services is nearing completion of 30 charging stations at state campuses in Santa Fe as it modernizes the state motor pool and reduces carbon emissions.
- CATHOLIC CHURCH-SEX ABUSE
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A California-based Roman Catholic bishop confirmed Wednesday that he is under investigation by the Vatican for his handling of abuse and misconduct cases in his former diocese in the Las Cruces area of southern New Mexico. In an online statement, Bishop Oscar Cantú confirmed a report from the Catholic News Agency about an investigation and said he planned to cooperate fully with any inquiry. The disclosure comes amid public discussions by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops of a report detailing how clerics failed to hold to account ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick for many years after suspicions surfaced of serial sexual misconduct.
- MEDICAID-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Spending on federally subsidized Medicaid health care across New Mexico has surged to an all-time high as the coronavirus pandemic throws more people of all ages into poverty. An independent evaluation announced Wednesday of the state's flagship managed care program for Medicaid insurance finds that enrollment is surging to new heights. More than 52,000 people were added to the state's Centennial Care program serving most Medicaid patients in New Mexico, which has 2.1 million residents. At the same time, use of medical services under the program has decreased since the start of the pandemic in March.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-IMMIGRANT CHILDREN
HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to stop expelling immigrant children who cross the southern border alone, halting a policy that has resulted in thousands of rapid deportations of minors during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction sought by legal groups suing on behalf of children whom the government sought to expel before they could request asylum or other protections under federal law. The Trump administration has expelled at least 8,800 unaccompanied children since March.