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We are thankful that District Court judge Flora Gallegos this week sentenced William Daniels to the maximum 16 years in prison for the 2018 murder of Roman Latimer Lucero Sr. This case was up in the air for a long time, as questions surrounding Daniels’ mental competence were ongoing for more than a year, which delayed the trial. He was eventually found to be competent and was convicted by a jury earlier this year. The second degree murder conviction carries a 15-year sentence for the 63-year-old Daniels. Judge Gallegos added an additional year onto the sentence for a firearm enhancement. Damniels is classified as a “serious violent offender,” which means he must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before he becomes eligible for parole. No real motive was ever disclosed for the crime. The two men were roommates at the time of the shooting, during which Daniels shot Lucero four times, including twice after he had collapsed to the ground. It was a vicious attack, and we are thankful that justice has finally been served. We hope that this sentence brings some level of peace to Lucero’s family, all of whom have been forced to relive the events of that night countless times since October 2018. This conviction and sentence won’t bring their loved one back to them, of course, but we hope having Daniels behind bars for nearly two decades will bring them some level of comfort. 



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This year, there is a real battle for the position of mayor in the small village of Wagon Mound, which has a population of 291 people, at last count. Three men threw their hats in the ring for the November election, all of whom seem like they want to make a real difference in their community. This is a win for democracy and the power of the people. In a community of that size, all three of them are vying for the votes of their peers, people they have likely known all their lives. All of them have different ideas about how to make things better for the small village, and the residents will have the opportunity to decide who they believe in the most. In many small communities, a sense of complacency and familiarity might sink in. They might think, “This is the way we have always done things. Why do we need to change?” But that is not the case in Wagon Mound, which clearly has people looking to improve the quality of life for everyone. It appears all the people running have been prominent figures in the village in the past and the present, and they seem excited about the opportunity to continue serving the place they love. We look forward to seeing the results of the race, and wish all the candidates the best in their efforts. May the best candidate win!

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