Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 4, 1990 · Page 1
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Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico · Page 1

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 4, 1990
Page 1
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NEW MEXICO'S LEADING NEWSPAPER Home-Operated 110th Year, No. 63 292 Pages In 22 Sections Sunday Morning, March 4, 1990 Copyright c 1990, Journal Publishing Co. Daily 350 Sunday $1 Home-Owned.' -r-f fMMmmmmmmmmmmm.mmmmmTmmmmm,wmm,mm,mm,m:nmmm,Mmmn minim. ii.i,inii.,.i,i..i,n,.ir.,.,.i,.m.l.,....l..,...-ir..,. in hi ie syiiPAW lOUEiMADL Discrepancies Tangle M By Colleen Heild JOURNAL STAFF WRITER The man said he knew who killed Mountainair police officer Stephen Sandlin and knew how it was done. "It had to be someone he trusted and knew," said the man, who then became agitated and upset. He put his head in his hands and said, "I killed him. I'm sorry. So sorry." The man was an officer with another law enforcement agency. It was secondhand information and unconfirmed. But when a potential witness described the conversation for the Attorney General's Office last September, officials working the case thought they had a major break. Handwritten notes of that interview, which were among internal After 22 Months, Mountainair Still Without Answers, Arrests ystery of Officer's Death documents recently obtained by the Journal, also supported state investigators' suspicions that Sandlin's May 7, 1988, death was related to marijuana trafficking in the East Mountain area of Torrance County. Six months after that interview, the case remains unsolved. There have been no arrests in the death of the 21-year-old officer, who was found shot in the head in the Mountainair police station. The bullet came from Sandlin's service revolver, which was found near his head. Officially, no law enforcement agency has labeled Sandlin's death a homicide or ruled out possibilities' he committed suicide or died as the result of an accident. However, documents generated during the Attorney General's 22-month investigation and obtained by the Journal indicate: Agents and prosecutors trying to reconstruct Sandlin's death have encountered conflicting witness testimony and inconsistent physical evidence. The actions of some area law enforcement officers and several Mountainair residents have come under scrutiny, prompting speculation they might know more than they are saying about events surrounding Sandlin's death. Information surfaced that raised questions about whether several garbage bags of marijuana Sandlin helped seize before his death were moved out of Torrance County before he died not afterward, as has been previously stated. A soldier who said he discovered Sandlin after he was shot later failed two polygraphs and told an Army investigator he would go to jail if he told the truth. The deputy attorney general overseeing the investigation asked in June 1988 the soldier's interrogation be discontinued and gave instructions to tell the soldier he would be indicted based on the information gathered so far. The soldier was later granted special immunity for his appearance before MORE: See DISCREPANCIES on PAGE A6 Stephen Sandlin, shown while working for United Cable Television of Santa Fe before becoming a police officer in Mountainair. (it f i i f 'V. 7 IV I V JIM THOMPSON JOURNAL Cheers for a Championship Members of the Shiprock Chieftains hoist their trophy after The team claimed its third-straight championship by beating winning the Class AAA girls basketball state championship. Kirtland Central, 57-36, Saturday. Story on E1. oviet Voters To Decide Fate Conmiiiiism Of THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MOSCOW Voters throughout Russia and the Soviet Slavic heartland decide today whether to throw local communist potentates out of office, and desperate party bosses adopted Western-style campaign tricks to try to hang on. Using promises, pork-barrel politics and more than a hint of ballot-box stuffing and fraud, party barons throughout Russia, the Ukraine and Byelorussia faced unprecedented challenges. Pro-democracy groups, reformist communists, nationalists and ordinary citizens fed up with the privileges of the powerful crowded onto ballots that were once reserved for the communists' chosen few. More than 146 million people from the Pacific shores of the Soviet Far East to the mountains on the Czechoslovak border were eligible to vote in today's elections, which will choose the makeup of the three republics' parliaments, as well as city and village councils known in Russian as "Soviets." Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the first results expected Monday. Party leaders, including two members of the ruling Politburo, face the daunting challenge of securing a victory in their three republics' first contested local elections, or losing their jobs like comrades routed in balloting for the national Congress of People's Deputies a year ago. President Mikhail Gorbachev is not running in any of today's races but is certain to exploit results to pursue his housecleaning of hardline apparatchiks from the Communist Party he heads. But he also runs the risk of seeing his allies bested by nationalists or radical reformers, as happened in many of the local races already held in the Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Lithuania holds a second round of MORE: See SOVIETS on PAGE A9 'Glad It's Over' Team's Bottom-of-World Triumph Covers 3,741 Frozen Miles on Foot By Jacqui Banaszynski KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWSPAPERS MIRNYY, Antarctica Adventurer Will Steger stamped yet another page in the history books Saturday when he and five foreign-born companions skied to the eastern edge of Antarctica, thus becoming the first men to cross the continent on foot. "I feel very light, like a kite, and very much at peace," Steger said moments after gliding to a stop on an ice bluff overlooking the Indian Ocean. ; "I am glad it's over." On the bicycle wheel that trailed oddly behind one of his three dog-sleds, an odometer told why: 3,741.1 miles. The International Trans- Antarctica Expedition, inspired and led by Steger, traversed the frozen southern continent from west to east, logging the longest dogsled .trek in history and spending 221 days on the ice before sledding on schedule into Mirnyy, a Soviet Union research station that was host for the finale. "Everything always looks impossible for the people who never try anything," said expedition co-leader Jean-Louie Etienne, 43, a French physician who met Steger while skiing solo to the North Pole in 1986. N Perhaps the greater feat was building an $11 million expedition with strangers from six often-disparate nations the United States, the Soviet Union, France, China, Great Britain and Japan. Atlantic Ocean Expedition across Will Steger and five other people have crossed Antarctica, traveling 3,800 miles Ice shelves on skis ana dogsleds I CvrtAj-trtinn lft .lulu 97 1. i . - r I . I fn South Pole 6 7 Amundsen-Scott jqo f Vt Base(U.S.) Ross Icei Tv Expedition ll reaches coast If 180 S-- Mirnyy Base (Soviet Union) Pacific Ocean Indian Ocean Drug Busts Bursting Justice System Seams By Mike Gallagher JOURNAL STAFF WRITER Even more than their physical triumphs, the adventurers Saturday relished their victory over political, cultural and language barriers. "The fact that we pulled six Knight-Ridder Tribune News people together and their different countries, that is the real first and that is what I hope will go down in MORE: See GLOBAL on PAGE A3 About midnight last July 7, members of the Albuquerque Police Department's SWAT team served a "no-knock" search warrant on an alleged crack den run by members of a Los Angeles gang called the Crips. Backed by detectives from the Organized Crime Unit, Repeat Offenders Project and the uniformed Gang Unit, the forced entry went down without a hitch. Five men were arrested and more than $1,000 of rock cocaine was seized. Within the month, all five were indicted for trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy and possession of marijuana. By November, the District Attorney's Office had dismissed charges against all five in the "interests of justice." The terse dismissal order in four of the cases resulted from a judge's ruling that the "no-knock" search warrant which allows officers to burst into a residence without warning was invalid. No one could explain why the fifth defendant had been indicted in the first place. Police arrested him outside the house on Walter SE and found a marijuana cigarette in his pocket. The case is one of many where police and prosecutors are trying to cope with the fallout from last summer's renewed offensive in the war against drugs. The officers in the case were following an order from Police MORE: See DRUG on PAGE A4 Stunned Crowd Sees Carlsbad QSUNDAYE School Chief Accused, Fired j J By Ralph Dohme JOURNAL CORRESPONDENT CARLSBAD Roger Harrell, Carlsbad's embattled school superintendent, was fired at a special meeting Friday after the school board released a 23-item list bf allegations that accuse him of fraud, incompetence and failure to be a "moral role, moder for students and employees. The board's attorney read the list to a stunned crowd of about 150 people, many of whom had hoped to express opinions about the HarreU's Jan. 17 suspension. Accusations included misuse of school credit cards, conducting personal, for-profit business on school time, insubordination, unsatisfactory work performance and ignor ing charges of racial discrimination against employees. Harrell also is accused of possible federal violations. Following the 12-minute reading of the bill of particulars by attorney C Emery Cuddy 1 of Santa Fe, the board voted 5-0 to fire' Harrell and give its information to the district attorney. "I can't believe this is happening," said Russ Smitherman, a parent who attended the meeting. "If it wasn't so damaging to the board, Harrell and the community, it would make one hell of a good TV sitcom. I don't know who's right or wrong, but I think now we need a new school board and superinten- MORE: See HARRELL on PAGE A10 March Sage This month SAGE magazine looks at the other relationship everybody wants, in our cover story, "Friendship: Handle With Care." Our special report addresses itself to one of the many dilemmas facing working mothers: How to hold down a job and help your child in school, too. For the financially ambitious, we have a beginner's guide to overcoming investment anxiety for fun, but mostly for profit. And theater enthusiasts can check out the second act chosen by one of Albuquerque's most successful directors. It's all in the March SAGE. Inside. Today. Mr ' mm z is t ' i r ( t !!i lit 1RI !i ":r '.tt jjat w jrrri J W - 1 J Smp hi A. Good Morning Explorer Will Steger is on top of the world after crossing the bottom of it. Weather Fair, warm and sunny. Highs 50 to 72. Lows tonight 20s to 30s. C8 ARTS Gt HAPPENINGS G6 BOOKS G8 HOROSCOPE F2 BUSINESS D1-3 MOVIES G4-8 CLASSIFIED I1-J18 NEW MEXICO CH CROSSWORD F2 SPORTS E1-9 DEATHS C8 TRAVEL H1-3 DIMENSION Bt-7 TRENDS F1-8 EDITORIALS B2-3 TV F7 FARM C7 WEATHER C

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