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Courts

  • On The Docket 12-10-14

    Dec. 3
    John Quintana was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to pay court fines/costs. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Manuel A. Garcia was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of making an improper lane change. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Jennie R. Keller was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $75 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Dec. 4
    William Angel pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to two counts of failing to appear in court. Defendant received a deferred sentence. Defendant was ordered to pay $92 in court costs.

    Priscilla Clark pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to failing to regulate weeds, brush piles, refuse and rubbish and outdoor storage of materials. Defendant received a deferred sentence. Defendant was ordered to pay $120 in court costs. Sentencing deferred until March 3.

    Lee Keunrang was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to obey a traffic sign. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

  • Court to determine defendant's competency

    A 22-year-old Los Alamos resident, who stands accused of having criminal sexual contact with two girls at least four times last spring, appeared in district court Wednesday for a status hearing.
    The defendant, Christopher Davis, was arrested in May of this year after an extensive investigation by New Mexico Attorney General Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Los Alamos Police Department.
    The investigation was triggered by an out-of-state summons for Davis from Minnesota. According to the Anoka County Minnesota Sheriff’s Office, Davis was wanted for sending lewd photos to a 14-year-old girl that lives in that county.
    The local investigation also revealed similar, alleged, charges in Los Alamos County, including: 12 counts of sexual penetration of a minor, fourth degree, three counts of criminal solicitation by electronic communication device/meets with child and four counts of criminal sexual communication with a child and one count of sexual exploitation of children under 18 years of age/manufacturing visual media.

  • Porter sentenced to probation

    Steven Porter, a White Rock resident who was looking at a hefty jail sentence back in August, was given conditional discharge and probation Wednesday by Judge Sheri Raphaelson in Los Alamos District Court.
    In August, Porter was facing a slew of drug possession charges and one charge of attempt to escape from a GPS monitoring program he was placed on shortly after he posted bail for the drug possession charges.
    There was also hearsay that Porter was behind acts of vandalism to his neighbor’s houses. However, a month later, when Porter appeared in district court, his defense attorney, Elden Pennington, made most of those charges go away, as well as dispel the vandalism rumors police were investigating.
    “There’s been no threats, acts of violence or anything like that whatsoever to his community,” Pennington said during his September hearing, adding that though there was a “belief and an assumption” that Porter was behind the acts of vandalism, “the ongoing investigation has failed to link Mr. Porter to the alleged charges.”
    Pennington also cited Porter’s ties to the community, his service in the first Gulf War and his family life.

  • Judge questions vote

    Shortly after the 2014 elections this past November, District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson learned that the constituents in her districts, which consist of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties, no longer wanted to retain her as judge.
    Here’s how each county voted according to the unofficial results:
    • Los Alamos: 2,727 voters voted to retain her.
    • 3,070 voters voted to recall her.
    • Rio Arriba: 3,385 voters voted to retain her.
    • 3,344 voters voted to recall her.
    • Santa Fe: 19,629 voters voted to retain her.
    • 13,546 voters voted to recall her.
    Raphaelson needed at least 57 percent of the overall vote to keep her job, she fell short of that by about one percent point, with 55.98 percent of the voters voting to keep her and 44.02 percent of the voters voting to let her go, according to the unofficial figures on the website of the New Mexico Secretary of State.
    Two days after the election, Raphaelson sent off a letter to Chief Judge of the First Judicial District Raymond Ortiz contesting the election.

  • Fode gets five years probation for role in LA woman's death

    There were no winners in District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson’s courtroom Wednesday as Steve Fode, the man convicted for his role in the death of a 71-year-old Los Alamos woman this past summer, was sentenced.
    The victim, Emily Mares-Lang, was struck and killed by Fode’s pickup truck July 16 of this year when Fode backed his truck up on Main Street in an attempt to turn around. Mares-Lang was on the street’s crosswalk when Fode’s truck struck her. She later died of her injuries at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe.
    According to a plea deal worked out between the district attorney’s office and Fode’s defense attorney, Marc Edwards, Fode pled no contest to homicide with a vehicle by reckless driving. He will placed on five years of supervised probation, and take defensive driving classes. He will also be required to perform 48 hours of community service.
    If Fode does what is required of him by the state, then after two years he could be released from his probation.
    After the sentencing, Edwards remarked that was probably the best outcome for everyone involved under the circumstances.

  • On The Docket 11-07-14

    Records derived from the Los Alamos Municipal and Magistrate Court:
    Oct. 30

    Delbert Herrera was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of failing to use seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Tori Torres was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Sentenced deferred until Dec. 28. Defendant was ordered to pay $65 in court costs, as well as attend defensive driving school and perform community service.

    Amanda J. Marksteiner was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of failing to yield or stop at a sign. Sentence deferred until Dec. 28. Defendant was ordered by the court to pay $65 in court costs and attend defensive driving school.

    Genevieve Aguilar-Fernandez pled no contest in Los Alamos County Municipal Court of speeding six to ten miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    John B. Bdzil was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

  • Raphaelson not retained by voters

    While Los Alamos voters voted to return magistrate court judge Pat Casados and municipal court judge Alan Kirk to their benches Tuesday, a different fate awaited Los Alamos First Judicial District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson.
    Raphaelson, who is also a judge in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties, was recalled by the voters in her district Tuesday, the official numbers being verified by late Wednesday afternoon.
    Here’s how each county voted according to the unofficial results:
    Los Alamos: 3,366 voters voted to recall her.
    2,902 voters voted to retain her.
    Rio Arriba: 3,304 voters voted to recall her.
    3,761 voters voted to retain her.
    Santa Fe: 16,001 voters voted to recall her.
    22,168 voters voted to retain her.
    Raphaelson needed at least 57 percent of the overall vote to keep her job, she fell short of that by about one percent point, with 55.98 percent of the voters voting to keep her and 44.02 percent of the voters voting to let her go, according to the unofficial figures on the website of the New Mexico Secretary of State.
    Even though the “yes” or “no” decision kept changing into Wednesday morning, when Raphaelson is usually conducting district court in Los Alamos, Raphaelson had already decided she had lost the voters’ confidence at that point.

  • Ex-teller sentenced in embezzlement case

    Valerie Lujan, a former bank teller, was sentenced in Los Alamos District Court Wednesday for embezzling more than $20,000 from Zia Credit Union in April of 2009. According to court documents, she was working as at teller at the time she committed her crimes.
    Judge Sheri Raphaelson sentenced her to a conditional discharge with five years of supervised probation, the length of which can be shortened if she pays back the money to Zia before her probation is up. According to First Judicial Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist, Lujan has to pay back $32,914.95 to Zia Credit Union.
    Raphaelson reminded her that if she violated the terms of her probation she could be sentenced to nine years in prison. She also reminded Lujan that the charge against her won’t appear on her record, as long as she follows through with her probation and does not commit any other crimes while on probation and paying back the money to Zia.
    Lujan, who lives in Española, remained quiet through her sentencing, letting her attorney, Stephen Aarons do most of the talking. However, she made a statement in court shortly after she was sentenced, apologizing to her former employer for taking the money.

  • On The Docket 10-30-14

    Records derived from Los Alamos Municipal and Magistrate Court:
    Oct. 22

    Larry Bobo was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal County Court of failing to wear seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.
    Oct. 23

    Karen A. Esquibel was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Trevor Orr was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of stopping, standing or parking in a prohibited or specified place. Defendant was fined $50.

    Lee Arellano was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of failing to display a valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $50 and was ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Robert. L Swickley was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of failing to obey a traffic signal. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

  • On The Docket 10-28-14

    Records derived from Los Alamos Municipal and Magistrate Court:
    Oct. 15

    Richard Eisenberger was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to use his seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Janet L. Michel was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 16 to 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $100 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.
    Oct. 16

    Iassac Pearson was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to display a valid registration plate while parked. Defendant was fined $50.

    John S. Harrison was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of stopping, standing or parking in a prohibited or specified space. Defendant was fined $50.