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AROUND N.M.


Journal Staff Report
       Wife Admits Soliciting Slaying
    LOVINGTON — A Eunice woman whose husband was fatally shot two years ago has pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit first-degree murder.
    State District Judge Don Maddox has scheduled sentencing for Aug. 18 for 39-year-old Stephanie Blagg.
    Authorities said Darrell Blagg, 40, was found dead from a gunshot wound Aug. 11, 2006, in his Eunice home.
    Two men were arrested last month in the case, said State Police.
    Billy Kelley, 39,of Lubbock, Texas, was being held in the Lea County jail on $250,000 bail on charges including solicitation to commit first-degree murder, authorities said.
    Officials said Juan Muro, 30, of Eunice is being held in the jail on $1 million bail on charges including first-degree murder.
    Man Indicted in Rancher’s Death
    CLOVIS — A Roosevelt County grand jury has indicted a 44-year-old man for his alleged role in the death of a Causey rancher three years ago.
    Billy Joe Watson faces charges of accessory to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and accessory to attempted manufacturing of methamphetamine, District Attorney Matthew Chandler said Friday.
    The charges stem from the death of Jimmy “Bo” Chunn. The 71-year-old rancher was found shot to death in his Causey home on July 8, 2005. He died of a gunshot wound.
    Chandler said Watson allegedly conspired with Donald Taylor, 27, who fired a shot into Chunn’s home on July 4, 2005.Taylor has been indicted on federal charges of murder, conspiracy to commit methamphetamine manufacturing and being a felon in possession of firearms.
    Airline Dropping El Paso Route
    CARLSBAD — New Mexico Airlines is dropping service between El Paso and Carlsbad on July 14.
    Airline President Gabriel Kimbrell said the route was eliminated after decisions by Carlsbad and Eddy County authorizing public money and resources in an effort to recruit competition — an airline using 36-seat airplanes.
    New Mexico Airlines operates a single-engine, nine-passenger aircraft.
    The county and city joined Roswell and Hobbs to explore the possibility of attracting regional or intrastate air service.
    New Mexico Airlines will continue flying between Carlsbad and Albuquerque.
    It has a federal essential air service
    contract through next June.
    Navajo Head Backs Top Lawyer
    WINDOW ROCK, ARIZ. — The leader of the Navajo Nation is throwing his support behind the tribe’s top attorney by urging tribal lawmakers to reject legislation that calls for the removal of the attorney general from office.
    Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. said in a memo to the Tribal Council that the effort to remove Louis Denetsosie is an indisputable reaction to a recent opinion issued by Denetsosie that supports Shirley’s initiative to reduce the council from 88 delegates to 24.
    The Tribal Council is to convene Monday for a special session. Legislation calling for Denetsosie’s removal is on the agenda.
    Man Faces Longer Sentence
    CLOVIS — A man sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in the shooting death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy faces more prison time now that a judge has declared him a repeat offender.
    David Griego, 31, was convicted of accessory to murder and sentenced in January to 16 years in prison for the Sept. 15, 2005, death of Carlos Perez. Three brothers also were convicted in the shooting of the fifth-grader.
    Perez died when shots were fired through his bedroom window and struck him in the head while he was sleeping. Police believe his older brother, Ruben Perez, was the intended target.
    The District Attorney’s Office argued that Griego should be considered a repeat offender because he had been convicted of three felonies in the past 10 years. State District Judge Bill Bonem agreed and added eight years to Griego’s sentence.
    NMSU Student Charged in Rape
    LAS CRUCES — A former editor of the New Mexico State University student newspaper has been charged with third-degree criminal sexual penetration.
    The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Richard Reyes, 21, was indicted Thursday. He is free on bail.
    Court documents allege that a woman was at a party May 27 at Reyes’ home when she reported she was sexually assaulted.
    Reyes was the newly appointed editor of The Round Up at the time of his arrest. He resigned shortly after his arrest.