State briefs 1-3-13

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By Associated Press

Teen charged in
slaying of 63-year-old 


ALAMOGORDO (AP) — Otero County authorities say an 18-year-old charged with murdering a Tularosa woman told authorities he went to her house to steal a classic car so he could settle a $30,000 debt.

Sheriff Benny House told the Alamogordo Daily News that Paul Reynolds has been charged with one count of first-degree felony open murder and fourth-degree felony unlawful taking of a motor vehicle following Tuesday’s slaying of 63-year-old Rita Gallegos. Gallegos was found dead in her bedroom after her husband came home and found blood in the kitchen and her vehicle missing.

Shortly after that, the woman’s SUV was involved in a rollover, and authorities arrested Reynolds and two women.

House says Reynolds told authorities he went to the home to steal the couple’s classic Plymouth Road Runner, but was unable to find the keys. Instead he took their 2002 SUV.


Former candidate accused of stalking 


ALBUQUERQUE — A former New Mexico congressional candidate recently accused of slashing the tires on his opponent’s vehicles is now accused of aggravated stalking.

Albuquerque police say Gary Smith was arrested and jailed Wednesday and that the 65-year-old will undergo a psychological exam.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the husband of Janice Arnold-Jones told police he spotted Smith in a car idling in front of the couple’s home on Tuesday.

Smith was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District last year. He was removed from the primary ballot as a result of a lawsuit filed by Arnold-Jones’ supporters.

Smith was arrested Friday evening and accused of criminal damage for allegedly slashing tires of two vehicles outside Arnold-Jones’ home on Dec. 20. He denies doing that.


Kennedy becomes chief judge 


ALBUQUERQUE — Judge Roderick Kennedy has become the chief judge of the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

Kennedy was sworn in to the post on New Year’s Day to replace Chief Judge Celia Foy Castillo, who retired at the end of the year.

Kennedy was appointed to the 10-member court in 2001 by then Gov. Gary Johnson. Kennedy had been named to the court by Johnson in 1999, but was defeated a year later in the general election.

Kennedy served on the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court for 11 years.


Border patrol rescues hurt child in mountains 


DEMING — The U.S. Border Patrol has rescued a child who was injured while on a hunting trip in the mountains of southern New Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security said a crew from the agency’s Office of Air and Marine personnel in El Paso helped save the injured youth Tuesday from the mountains near Deming.

Officials say the child was hunting with a guide on the southwest side of the Florida Mountains when he injured his leg.

 The agency said child was loaded onto the helicopter on a stretcher and later transported to Deming Memorial Hospital where the child is recovering from non-life threatening injuries.