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Today's News

  • Breaking: Benavidez convicted of murder

    A San Miguel County jury has convicted Louis "Louie" Benavidez of first-degree murder in the 2009 slaying of Kevin Duran.

    The verdict was read by District Judge Eugenio Mathis at about 2 p.m. Friday, less than four hours after the jury began deliberating.


    Benavidez, 56, was also convicted of tampering with evidence in the case. His public defender, Stephen Mcilwain, said the verdict will be appealed.

    For more on this story, pick up a copy of Monday's Optic.

  • Court asked to toss sex case

    The former Robertson High School teacher who is facing charges for allegedly carrying on a yearslong sexual relationship with a student is asking that the charges be dismissed because the state violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

    Jay Quintana’s criminal defense attorney filed the motion in state district court on Nov. 16. The judge presiding over the case has yet to issue a ruling on the motion.

    Rob Perozynski, the assistant district attorney in Carlsbad prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the motion.

  • Details emerge in HU rape

    The New Mexico Highlands University student raped in her dorm room on Oct. 26 told police she went outside for a walk to get some air at around 4:30 that morning and that she was attacked as she was returning to her room in the new student residence hall.

    The woman told police that her assailant, who was tall, pulled her hair from behind as she opened her dorm room door, that he pulled her earphones from her ear and that he put a knife to her throat and told her that if she said anything he was going to cut her throat.

  • Let the holidays begin

    Las Vegas is kicking off the holiday season on Saturday with the 22nd annual Electric Light Parade and Luna Community College’s “Noche de Luminarias.”

    But if you plan to go, you’d  better bundle up because weather forecasters are predicting chilly temperatures on Saturday with a high near 31 and a low around 13.

    The parade and luminaria tour have long been favorites for locals and visitors alike.

  • City van crashed into rec center

    An unknown assailant broke into a white city van sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, tampered with it and caused it to crash into the city's Abe Montoya Recreation Center, authorities say.

    Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said a city building inspector was estimating the structural damage to the building. He said the van didn't breach the building.

    Police are asking anyone with information on the incident to call Crimestoppers at 425-8884.

  • Heather Wilson Visit
  • In Brief - New Mexico News - Dec. 2, 2011

    Optic Staff and The Associated Press

    Alcohol not involved in Monday crash

    The Las Vegas Police Department has determined that the teen who crashed into the Las Vegas City Schools administration building on Monday was not intoxicated.

    “It appears from evidence at the scene that the steering mechanism broke and may have contributed to the crash,” Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said.

  • Company to increase deep well pumping

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — A New Mexico company notified the state it intends to double the amount of water it can pump from 20 proposed deep aquifer wells on a Sandoval County ranch and use the water in Bernalillo and Cibola counties.

    L Bar Energy can pump, treat and use up to 20,000 acre-feet of water a year, equal to about twice what Santa Fe uses in a year. The State Engineer says Santa Fe uses about 10,000 acre-feet.

  • Jail Log - Dec. 2, 2011

    The following individuals were booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center by area law enforcement between Nov. 22 and Nov. 29:

    Marcos Carrillo, 34, battery on a household member
    Debbie Salazar, 50, mental health hold
    Lonnie Bennett, 48, public nuisance, shoplifting, larceny
    Veronica Jaramillo, 28, failure to appear for trial; DUI
    Andrea Gallegos, 24, failure to comply with conditions of probation
    Kathy Bigfeather, 38, battery

  • GOP can access e-mail of legislative consultant

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Lawyers for Gov. Susana Martinez and other Republicans can obtain email, notes and other correspondence between lawmakers and a demographer hired by the Legislature to help with redistricting, a New Mexico district court judge ruled Tuesday.