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Courts

  • Appeals court strikes health insurance requirement

    ATLANTA (AP) — A federal appeals court panel on Friday struck down the requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul package that virtually all Americans must carry health insurance or face penalties.

    The divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the so-called individual mandate, which is considered the centerpiece of the law, siding with 26 states that had sued to block the law. But the panel didn't go as far as a lower court that had invalidated the entire overhaul as unconstitutional.

  • On the Docket 08-03-11


    Krista Wilhelm, 26, of Los Alamos pled guilty to criminal trespassing July 29. Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados sentenced Wilhelm to serve five days in the Los Alamos County Detention Center. She also ordered Wilhelm to pay $100 in fines for criminal trespass and $73 in court costs.

     

  • On the Docket 07-27-11

    July 7

    Sergio Escarcega, 27, of Los Alamos pled guilty to DWI, speeding and driving without a license. Judge Pat Casados sentenced Escarcega to 364 days of supervised probation, a treatment program, to face a victim impact panel, DWI school, to maintain an alcohol interlock device on his vehicle for one year and to pay $25 each month in probation fees. The judge also ordered Escarcea to pay $363 in court costs.
    July 19

  • Complaint: Alleged rape by NM judge was videotaped

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A court document says a New Mexico prostitute who has accused Albuquerque's top criminal judge of rape made a videotape of the alleged attack.

    The complaint against District Judge Pat Murdoch says a detective heard about the tape from an informant and bought it for $400.

    Police then questioned the woman, who says Murdoch solicited her on a prostitution website.

    The woman says she met with the judge about eight times and he paid her $200 each time. She says he forced himself on her during one visit, but she returned and secretly recorded a second forced encounter.

    Murdoch is out on bond. His first court appearance is Thursday.

  • NM man indicted for handing out semen-tainted yogurt

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a New Mexico man on charges he handed out semen-tainted yogurt samples at a grocery store.

    Thirty-two-year-old Anthony Garcia was indicted Wednesday on charges of adulterating food and making false statements to federal investigators. He was arrested Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

    Garcia is accused of handing out tainted yogurt samples at a Sunflower Market in Albuquerque in January.

    Officers responded to the store after a woman called to report an employee had given her what she was told was a yogurt sample. The woman told police she believed it was actually a bodily fluid.

  • Suspect allowed to view child porn in Wash. jail--video extra

    SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities in Washington state say they're outraged that a former pilot who's already admitted molesting young boys is being allowed to watch videos he made of the abuse while he sits in jail awaiting trial.

    "The whole thing is just dirty," said Pierce County Sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer on Wednesday. "Now that victims know he's going to be watching this, they're going to feel victimized again. This is our call to action to get the law changed."

  • On the Docket 06-22-11

    blic information contained in Municipal, Magistrate and District Court records.

    June 14

    Jose Duran, 40, of Los Alamos appeared in Magistrate Court on charges of disorderly conduct. Duran pled nolo contendere and the court accepted the plea as an admission of guilt only for the purposes of that day’s court action. Judge Pat Casados sentenced Duran to 180 days in jail with 180 days suspended. Duran received robation and ordered to enter alcohol screening and treatment and/or anger management. Duran was found not guilty of battery per a plea agreement with the state and was ordered to pay $73 in court costs and a $25 per month probation fee.

  • Judge approves settlement over Indian royalties

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Monday approved a $3.4 billion settlement over mismanaged Indian royalties in a case that represents the largest settlement ever approved against the U.S. government.

    Elouise Cobell of Browning, Mont., claimed in the 15-year-old suit that for more than a century, U.S. officials systematically stole or squandered billions in royalties intended for American Indians in exchange for oil, gas, grazing and other leases.

    U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, in approving the settlement after a daylong hearing, said the legitimacy of Cobell's claims could not be questioned.

    "The government mismanaged these resources on a staggering scale," Hogan said.

  • On the Docket 06-15-11


    On the Docket items are compiled from public information contained in Municipal, Magistrate and District Court records.
    June 7

    Dustin Nelson, 22, of Los Alamos appeared in Municipal Court on charges of violating his probation. Judge Alan Kirk sentenced Nelson to spend 15 days in jail and pay $46 in court fees.
    June 9

    Alexander Rose, 25, of Los Alamos appeared in Magistrate Court on charges of possession of marijuana, driving on an expired registration, no insurance and no headlights. Judge Pat Casados sentenced Rose to perform 10 hours of community service to be completed by July 26 and to pay $203 in court costs. As part of a plea deal with the state, Rose was found not guilty of marijuana possession.
    June 10

  • NM man found not guilty in crash that killed teens

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A 29-year-old man who was charged in a crash that killed four teenagers and seriously injured a fifth has been found not guilty by a Santa Fe jury.

    Jurors reached their verdict Tuesday evening in the case of Scott Owens.

    The Santa Fe-area man had pleaded not guilty to four counts of vehicular homicide and one count of causing great bodily harm in the June 28, 2009, crash on the Old Las Vegas highway near Santa Fe.

    Authorities allege he was driving in the wrong lane just after midnight when he ran into the teens' car.

    Officials had said his blood-alcohol content was 0.16 percent, double the legal driving limit.