Briefs 01-24-13

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By Associated Press

Ex-NM paramedic convicted in creek bed child rape

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A former paramedic was convicted on Wednesday of raping an 11-year-old boy in an Albuquerque creek bed.
A state District Court jury found Genaro Sandoval, 39, guilty of four counts, including criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13, kidnapping and sexual exploitation of a child. The jury reached its verdict after a few hours of deliberation following a two-week long trial that centered on DNA evidence.
Authorities said Sandoval was linked to the 2003 rape using DNA samples he submitted after pleading guilty in another case and DNA from the young boy’s underwear.
Defense lawyers argued that the victim never identified Sandoval as the one involved in the assault, and that the DNA evidence may have been tainted due to a scandal at the Albuquerque Police Department’s evidence room involving allegations of theft and mismanagement.
Sandoval is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12 and faces up to 41 ½ years in the prison, authorities said. He is being held without bond.
Sandoval is also separately charged with molesting five other boys in creek beds.

Santa Fe man allegedly stabs cop with badge

SANTA FE (AP) — A Santa Fe man is jailed without bond after allegedly stabbing a police officer with his badge’s pin during a scuffle.
Police say 52-year-old Christian Barney ran from officers who were trying to cite him for jaywalking.
They say Barney then fought with officers, ripped off one of their badges and used the exposed pin to puncture the officer’s left forearm.
Police say Barney was booked into the Santa Fe County jail on suspicion of aggravated battery and aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting or obstructing an officer and criminal damage to property.
The Santa Fe New Mexican says Barney was charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault on a police officer in September 2010. Those charges were later dropped by the state following a competency evaluation.

Steven Seagal becomes Doña Ana deputy

LAS CRUCES (AP) — Dona Ana County is adding some star power to its sheriff’s department.
Undersheriff Eddie Lerma this week arranged to have action film star Steven Seagal sworn in as a deputy.
Sheriff Todd Garrison read Seagal his oath during an informal ceremony Tuesday.
Lerma says Seagal is more than a movie star. He says he has spent decades in law enforcement training, and has a special interest in border issues.
Seagal has been involved in law enforcement in Louisiana and Arizona. In Arizona he is part of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s civilian posse of volunteers who assist deputies in duties such as providing free police protection at malls during the holidays, directing traffic at wreck scenes and transporting to jail the people who are arrested in immigration patrols.

Zozobra burning remains a Thursday night event

SANTA FE (AP) — The burning of the Zozobra, a giant puppet stuffed with scraps of paper, will remain a Thursday night event in Santa Fe.
The Kiwanis Club says the annual pre-Fiesta event will take place the evening of Sept. 5 at Fort Mercy Park.
There had been talk of moving the burning to Friday night, but organizer Ray Sandoval says the club decided to end uncertainty and set a date.
Admission will cost $10, down from $20 last year.
Sandoval had said a Friday night burning would boost attendance and help avoid a ticket price increase.
The Sante Fe New Mexican reports that Police Chief Ray Rael said it would be difficult for police to monitor both the burning at the park and gathering of people at the plaza afterward.