• Arraignment postponed in Wood trial

    Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer gave the court a bit of a surprise Friday during the arraignment of 36-year-old Robin Wood, a Los Alamos resident who is being accused of causing a deadly accident back in November, an accident which resulted in the death of a 37-year-old woman.
    At the hearing, Sommer recused herself from the case after saying she had ties to the accused in the case.
    Assistant District Attorney Michael Nuñez said in court Friday that Wood is facing up to nine years in jail and $10,000 in fines for his role in a crash that took place on N.M. 30 in late November.
    Police reports at the time say that Wood was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Impala heading north when he swerved into the southbound lane crashing head on into a Chevrolet Cavalier being driven by 37-year-old Elizabeth Quintana.
    The impact killed her instantly. Wood and his passenger, a 40 year-old woman, survived, and were treated at area hospitals for their injuries. Wood was later taken to the Los Alamos Detention Center for an unrelated probation violation related to a 2012 case.
    In that case, Wood was charged with four counts of drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
    Recently, Wood’s toxicology report came back revealing that he had .39 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter in his blood.

  • Police Beat

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, server a court summons, or issued a citation.

    April 9
    4:31 p.m. — Ryan Barnes, 37, of Los Alamos was arrested for assault at the intersection of 29th Street and Trinity Avenue.

    April 10
    11:40 a.m. — Ryan Barnes, 37, was arrested for assaulting a police officer on Rover Boulevard.

    5:33 p.m. — Police reported that a 19-year-old Los Alamos woman was injured in a car accident on N.M. 502.

    9:39 p.m. — William Garrett, 29, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled substance on 40th Street.

    April 11
    6:41 p.m. — Trevor Orr, 47, of Los Alamos was arrested for criminal trespass at the Mesa Public Library.

    9:32 p.m. — Chandler Lauritzen, 19, of Los Alamos was arrested for larceny (more than $250, less than $500) on Isleta Street.

    April 12
    4:09 p.m. — Rodney Hapney, 48, of Phoenix was arrested for criminal trespass on Potrillo Drive.

    April 13

  • On The Docket 4-15-15

    April 2

    Carol A. Fleming was found guilty in Los Alamos Magistrate court of driving while under the influence of liquor and/or drugs (impaired to the slightest degree, first offense) The original charge was aggravated driving while under the influence of liquor and/or drugs (.16 or above, first offense).
    Sentencing is deferred, provided probation conditions are met. If conditions of the deferred sentence are met, then the charge will be dismissed, but a record of the charges will still exist. Order will become final April 2, 2016. Defendant was fined $241 and ordered to undergo a year of supervised probation.

  • Aaron Hernandez found guilty of murder

    FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the downfall of an athlete who once had a $40 million contract and a standout career ahead of him.

    Hernandez, 25, looked to his right and pursed his lips after the jury forewoman read the verdict, convicting him in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old landscaper and amateur weekend football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

    Hernandez's mother, Terri, and his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, cried and gasped when they heard the verdict. Jenkins wept on his mother's shoulder. Hernandez later mouthed to them: "Be strong. Be strong."

    The former football pro was also found guilty on both weapons charges he faced. The jury deliberated for 36 hours before rendering its verdict.

    For reasons that were never made clear to the jury, Lloyd was shot six times in the middle of the night on June 17, 2013, in a deserted industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough.

  • Embezzler's jail time suspended

    HollyMichelle Bates, a Los Alamos woman accused of trying to cash a forged check for $1,348.62 from the Pet Pangaea pet supply store, was sentenced in court recently.
    According to court documents, Bates was sentenced to Los Alamos County jail for 364 days, with 364 days suspended. Bates must also pay $73 in court costs and undergo a year of supervised probation.
    She also must pay back the money she stole to Los Alamos National Bank.
    Bates’ probation conditions include obeying all federal, state and local laws. She must also comply with all conditions of probation and she can’t enter a restaurant or any other place that buys or sells alcohol.
    She can’t possess a firearm, destructive device or weapon, and she must maintain contact with her probation officer. She must also pay $25 per month probation fees.
    If she pays back the money before her probation is up, she could be eligible for early probation.
    Bates was originally charged with embezzling over $500 but not more than $2,500 in her case, but she received a plea deal where she was only charged with embezzling over $250 but not more than $500.
    She pled no contest to the charge. She was also charged with forging a transfer of $2,500 or less, but that charge was dropped. Bates pled no contest to that charge, as well.

  • Sanchez faces 12 years for cliff crash

    SANTA FE — Neither the prosecution nor the defense minced words at the Friday arraignment of a Los Alamos man accused of causing “great bodily harm” to his now ex-girlfriend.
    Zachary Sanchez, 31, is accused of driving himself and his girlfriend off a 200-foot cliff on N.M. 502 near Anderson Overlook in August of last year. According to both the prosecution and the defense, the crash was no accident.
    At his arraignment, where Sanchez entered a not guilty plea, the prosecution asked Sanchez be placed on a surety bond and a wireless alcohol sobriety monitoring system.
    “Frankly, we’re lucky this isn’t a vehicular homicide,” said Assistant District Attorney Natalie Perry in Santa Fe District Court Friday. “He’s a danger to himself and the community. He admitted to driving, he drove off a cliff with a passenger and severely injured that passenger.”
    The state is contending he did it on purpose.
    “The scary part of this is that the evidence shows it was intentional. There’s a witness that saw him on the side of the cliff that saw him slowly drive off of it, there were no brake lights,” Perry said, adding that he also made comments about killing her if she tried to break up with him.

  • Judge: Doctor must release records

    SANTA FE — An Española psychiatrist who was treating a former Los Alamos Police Department officer has learned that he will have to turn over most of his documents related to the patient’s treatment to plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against Los Alamos County in January.
    Former LAPD Commander Randy Foster, who is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, claims in the suit he was fired from his job in 2013 by the county over his handling of a personnel matter involving the psychiatrist’s patient, former police officer Brian Schamber.
    According to the lawsuit, which also includes former LAPD Commander Scott Mills and former Det. Paige Early as fellow plaintiffs, Foster was fired in an effort by the county to appease Schamber, who successfully sued the county for $600,000.
    According to court records, Foster was a key figure in getting Schamber committed to a mental health institution shortly after he allegedly talked about hurting members of the public as well as others to Early, his work partner at the time.
    Schamber has since left the police department.

  • Geisik sentenced to jail, probation

    Steven Geisik, the Los Alamos resident who was convicted of two counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor under the age of 13 and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor was sentenced in Los Alamos District Court Monday.
    Geisik, 23, was sentenced to one year in county jail and up to 20 years of supervised probation.
    “Every five years, the court will get a report on how he’s doing on probation, then the court will make a determination on how he’s doing,” said Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist, who prosecuted the case. “If he’s doing well, the judge can make a decision to discontinue the probation after five or ten years.”
    Since Geisik’s arrest in April 2012, he has spent about three years in county jail. He was 21 at the time the crimes were committed.
    His defense attorney, Sydney West, thought the eventual outcome was the best one for her client, given the details of the case.
    “The judge took into consideration the mitigating circumstances, his age and the most important thing of all, his (psychological) evaluation,” West said.
    Geisik, who was convicted in May of last year, promptly underwent psychological evaluation after the trial. The sentencing was delayed until Geisik’s psychological evaluation was completed.

  • On The Docket 4-8-15

    March 25
    Marshall L Naranjo was found guilty by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court of criminal trespass. Defendant was sentenced to 364 days in the county jail with 364 days suspended. Defendant also received 364 days supervised probation. Defendant was also charged $73.

    Probation conditions are:

    • Defendant shall obey all federal, state and local laws. Defendant will comply with all conditions of probation. The defendant shall not enter an establishment that buys or sells alcohol.
    • Defendant shall into possess a firearm, destructive device or weapon.
    • Defendant will meet with a probation officer within seven days and maintain contact as instructed.
    • Defendant shall also pay $25 per month probation fees. Payments are to be made to the Los Alamos Municipal Court.
    • If after three months there are no violations, defendant may be released early from probation.
    • Defendant shall enter and participate in alcohol/drug screening with any treatment, counseling or program with at least six sessions recommended by the screener.

  • Ruling goes in favor of Foster

    Randy Foster, a former commander with the Los Alamos Police Department, won a significant victory in his case against Los Alamos County recently.
    In March, the Santa Fe District Court ruled that the county must turn over more documents relating to his case against the county.
    In January 2014, Foster filed suit against the county for wrongfully terminating him over how he handled a disciplinary matter involving former officer Brian Schamber.
    Other plaintiffs in the suit include former detective Paige Early and Commander Scott Mills.
    In December 2012, Foster learned from Early that Schamber, her work partner was making “disturbing” and “threatening” remarks about hurting people, that according to court records. In one instance, while Early and Schamber were riding together in their police car, Schamber allegedly started to drive the car erratically while making remarks about using the vehicle to injure other drivers on the road.
    Foster also learned that Early had been reporting other instances of Schamber’s behavior to then police chief Wayne Torpy for over a year.