Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 25, 1995 · Page 36
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Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico · Page 36

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Location:
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 25, 1995
Page:
Page 36
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D2 AI.BUQUKHQUK JOURNAL Saluruy, Frl.ruary 25, IW3 Outdoors Coalition, Pueblo at Odds ,CKI . i i i i TODAY Clinic Offers Free Immunizations The Southwest Alliance of Neighbors is sponsoring a free immunization clinic with the Bernalillo County Health Department from 2 to 5 p.m. today at a mobile clinic in an empty lot at Coors and Gonzales SVV. i Tetanus, measles and some polio immunizations will be available. Shot records are required. A bonfire and candlelight rally supporting legislative funding for the Alamosa Multi-Service Center is scheduled after the clinic, r Further information is available by calling 836-0357 or 831-5406. COURTS & COPS Shotgun Blasts Hit APD Vehicle Two shots were fired into an Albuquerque police officer's vehicle Thursday night when the officer apparently got caught in an exchange of gunfire between moving cars. APD Officer Jeff Woods, a K-9 officer, was driving a marked Dodge Ram Charger, which normally carries his canine partner, when two shots from a shotgun blasted through his windshield about 7:15 p.m., said APD Sgt. William Kurth. ' No one was injured, but the shotgun pellets went into the cage where the dog normally rides, Kurth said. Woods' dog wasn't with him because the officer was returning from a practice session at the police firing range, Kurth said. Police believe rival gang members were snooting at each other from moving cars and that the officer may have gotten caught in the crossfire, Kurth said. Another shot also shattered a street light. The incident occurred as Woods was driving east on San Mateo at Gibson. Investigators Friday were trying to determine whether the shots were intentional or accidental. Police were also running down leads on the cars involved but had made no arrests Friday, Kurth said. Teen Charged in Threats to TV Host An Albuquerque teen-ager is accused by the FBI of sending letters to talk show host Jenny Jones, threatening to mutilate her with a chainsaw, authorities said Friday. Darius Long, 18, was arrested Thursday by FBI agents at his home, said Special Agent Doug Beldon. Long was being held in the Bernalillo County Detention Center, Beldon said. A detention hearing was scheduled for Monday in federal magistrate court. . Long appeared Friday before U.S. Magistrate William Deaton Jr. on a charge of sending harassing and threatening letters to Jones, host of the Jenny Jones Show. The show originates in Chicago. The FBI said the Jones show received 19 envelopes and packages some with Albuquerque postmarks from Sept. 14, 1994, through Feb. 16 of this year. Authorities said the letters and packages contained more than 50 -separate pages of handwritten letters, poems and miscellaneous items. One box mailed on Jan. 5, 1995, had a syringe and needle containing a red, blood-like substance. Also in the box were two small rotating bones and a small, mutilated male figurine. - According to an FBI affidavit, the letters dealt with death, blood, mutilation and satanism. A letter mailed on Oct. 31, 1994, threatened Jones with mutilation with a chainsaw and contained obscenities. L The FBI said the sender of the letters and packages identified himself as Darius King, with aliases such as Christine Morbid or various spellings of Christine Morbid. The Associated Press Shoplifting Suspect Dies After Chase " An unidentified man died Friday night after a foot chase and struggle with two security officers from a Coronado Center store, Albu- querque police said. ".' The man, believed to be in his 20s, was allegedly caught stealing an electric tool from a mall store that police wouldn't identify, Albuquerque police Lt. Richard Porter said. After being taken into custody about 8 p.m., the man ran from the store and the guards followed him, Porter said. "He was apprehended a block away. In a struggle to keep him in custody, there was a fight and he got away," Porter said. After another short chase, which ended in the parking lot just west of Sears Auto Center, the store's security officers apparently used a "defensive tactic, which is often used by law enforcement personnel" Jo subdue the offender, Porter said. "His injury resulted in death," he said. The man was transported to an area hospital where he died, he said. No weapon was used during the incident, which is being investigated by Albuquerque Police as a homicide, Porter said. The man's cause of death is expected to be released by the Office of the Medical Investigator, Porter said. IM BRIEF Bernalillo County Gets 'Best Ever' Audit Bernalillo County received its second "clean audit" in two years, gradually improving record-keeping and accounting practices that created problems before. County public information director Jami Morgan said the county has come a long way from when it had no general ledger before 1980 and serious record-keeping problems in the 1980s. The county received scathing audits, particularly in 1988, when the state auditor made an unprecedented halt of an audit to force the county to balance its books. Since then, the county has established a general ledger. Independent auditor Scott Floersheim gave an "unqualified" audit opinion this year, meaning the financial statements are considered a .fair representation of the county's financial status without exception. As of June 30, the county's general fund net worth was $30.5 million up from $27.4 million last year. Its unreserved cash balance was up from $3.8 million to $5.9 million. Comptroller Dan Mayfield said those figures mean the county has adequate reserves to cover carryover projects or a shortfall. ., Bernalillo County Manager Juan Vigil called the audit "the best Bernalillo County has ever received." , "All of the county's serious audit issues have now been resolved," he said, adding that 12 of the prior year's findings and recommendations were resolved. "We just hope we don't get zapped." Gardener Tracie Bartlett, 'describing how recent warm weather lured her into early planting, despite the possibility winter will return. Hill QUOTES OF THE WEEK "It wasn't pandemonium or being afraid. It was well-organized." Comanche Elementary principal Carolyn Brownrigg about students, teachers and staffers who got a measles shot in the wake of a Statewide outbreak. "Didyou ever read '1984't This is 'think speak.'" Albuquerque resident Toby Grossman, complaining that a city "plan to change its glass-recycling program would require certain residents to drive longer distances. Group Fights Claim To Mountain Land By Stephanie Goldstein And Michael Hartranft JOURNAL STAFF WRITERS The Sandia Mountain Coalition vows to fight a federal suit recently filed by Sandia Pueblo to take control of 9,500 acres in the Sandia Mountain Wilderness. "We have applied to testify," said coalition spokesman John Thomas. "If the land is turned over to the Sandia Pueblo, it becomes a sovereign country." The coalition, made up of about 300 environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts, believes the land should remain accessible to users from any group. It is also concerned about how the tribe would use the land, Thomas said, citing a 1993 Resource Management Flan released by the tribe that included plans for mining and logging. But Sandia officials say the pueblo has no intention of slamming the door on users and would take steps to reduce fire risk, insect infestation and vandalism and reintroduce trees and plants. They also say that many critics' fears are unwarranted. "They're saying that we're going to build a casino up there. That's not the case. They say we're going to mine, but that's not the case. They say we're going to cut timber. That is not true," tribal adminstrator Malcolm Montoya said. The land acquisition would extend the pueblo's eastern boundary to the crest of the Sandia Mountains, which includes hiking trails, recreational areas, national forest land and 650 acres of privately owned homes. The tribe made a claim to the land in 1986 to the U.S. Interior Department, which denied it in 1988. The tribe filed the lawsuit in December after the department refused to reconsider the case, Montoya said. "The court action was a last resort," he said. "It was something we did not want to do." The tribe says the land was conveyed to it in a 1748 Spanish land grant. An 1857 written report by the surveyor general of New Mexico contained a description on the land, which was confirmed by Congress in 1858, Montoya said. However, it was omitted in an 1864 U.S. land patent due to an incorrect survey done in 1859, he said. Montoya said the land contains areas of great religious significance to the tribe. The coalition, however, doesn't believe the tribe's lawsuit has historic basis or legal merit. "It's particularly ironic that the mayor's logo has a giant peak on it," Thomas said. "If this happens, (you) may as well take a big bite out of it." Coalition member Viola Miller, who chaired the Albuquerque Open Space Task Force between 1986 and 1988, said the mountain land is a key segment of the open space network and requires specialized management. "I think the Forest Service is good at that," she said. "If it is owned by a pueblo, -we wouldn't have input into the management." " J- She said she believes the Forest Service is highly cooperative about permitting the tribe to use religiousS sites. ' "The mountain is for everyone, not just for the pueblo of Sandia,"; she said. ... Montoya, however, said the tribe's rights are being violated. ; "They're talking about their., rights, but we also have rights that-preceded everyone else's," he said:. He said Sandia will stand by a- , 1988 tribal council resolution if the land is turned over to the tribe s through an administrative action. o "The resolution stated the pueblo would not interfere "with anyone's.; property rights, anyone's access to,, their property, with utilities, road ; easements and rights of way and there is no intention to tax anyone," i he said. Js;j 4 y V . r X . J - v "X Prized Pen Santa Fe pen collector Neal Frank shows off his collection's most valuable item a gold-filled, slip-cap Con-klin Filigree No. 6, manufactured in 1909. Frank owns 200 pens that are kept in a bank and insured for $45,000. JAIME DISPENZA JOURNAL Mall: Deputies Time-Card Workers Intel Paid Department With Lump-Sum Check By Valerie Santillanes JOURNAL STAFF WRITER Sandoval County sheriffs deputies who worked for the New Mexico Outlet Mall were time-card employees who were paid directly by the mall, a company spokesman said Friday. One sheriff's officer was fired and three others disciplined this week for allegedly working at the Intel Corp. and the mall while being paid by the county last year. In all, nine officers were investigated and five received letters of reprimand. Sheriff Ray Rivera will not release the officers' names or details of individual cases. District Attorney Mike Runnels said Thursday his office is reviewing sheriff's department records for possible criminal charges. Outlet Mall general manager Ed Zarek said Friday that although he did make oral arrangements with former Sheriff Bert De Lara to allow off-duty deputies and detectives to work as security guards, they clocked in and out and were each paid by check. Officers who worked for Intel were not paid directly by the company, according to an Intel spokesman and De Lara. Instead, a single check was made out to the Sheriffs Office. The checks were cashed by De Lara or former undersheriff Stu Seneff and the officers were paid in cash. De Lara has said he made arrangements with both companies for the off-duty officers and that he discontinued the program when it was discov- ( ered that some officers had been working for the ' private companies on county time. "This was not done on a contract basis," Zarek said. "They wore our uniforms, used our vehicle 1 and were on our time. They were time card employees and we paid all the necessary taxes.',J - Zarek said although officers used county vehi-;'; cles to get to the mall, they used a company car to make their rounds. "We thought we did everything perfect. We went through the sheriff, he came here and vel discussed the hiring of officers." V, Zarek said he was not aware of any alleged double-dipping by officers until the county.; requested the officers' time cards. :: "We did everything the way we thought was" right," he said. "Then it turned sour on us." !! Most of Suspect's Statement Inadmissible Woman Faces Trial In Francia Slaying By Donna Olmstead JOURNAL STAFF WRITER Most of a Winslow woman's statement to Arizona detectives about the stabbing and burning death of an Albuquerque teen won't be allowed in her upcoming murder trial. Superior Court Judge Fred Newton of Flagstaff, ruled last week that Coconino County sheriff detectives illegally coerced statements from Trena Richardson, 22, during a four-hour interview by promising her leniency if she talked about the last hours of Jonathan Francia's life. Additionally, he found that the statements weren't a confession of guilt. "Even the statements which the court finds involuntary re not part of a confession," the ruling said. In the transcribed statement, Richardson claims to have seen Francia, 16, alive and to have watched as her husband, Paul Daniel Richardson, and his companion, a man known only as Jason, stabbed the boy repeatedly on the night and morning of Jan. 12 and 13, 1994. "The significance of this (ruling) is it's a huge blow to the prosecution's case," Conrad Baran, Trena Richardson's public defender, said Wednesday. District Attorney Camille Bibles was out of her office couldn't be reached for comment. The Francias couldn't be reached for comment. Richardson, who has been jailed for more than a year in Flagstaff, on a charge of first-degree murder cried and begged police not to jail her and take away her babies during the interview last April. After two hours, Investigator Gil Moreno read Richardson her rights and told her she was going to jail on a charge of hindering prosecution. During the playing of the taped interview in a motion hearing last month, Richardson began to sob and said to police, "I didn't do anything. I honestly didn't do anything ... I have children. I have school. I have my family. I did not do anything." The transcript then shows police told her they didn't believe her. They told her they believed she had seen Francia murdered and they also believed that she knew that her husband killed Jason to keep him from talking. Paul Daniel Richardson hanged himself in a jail .cell Feb. 4, 1994, days after he was arrested in the kidnapping and slaying of Francia. After police told Trena Richardson they wanted the body of her husband's suspected accomplice, she told detectives conflicting details about the stabbing and burning of Francia, according to the j, transcript. The burned out shell o his family's car and his charred ' remains were found north of Winslow on the Navajo Reserva-V tion- .; Baran argued that Richardson,; was telling detectives what she believed they wanted to hear in order to be released from jail. w Baran said Richardson told several reporters and the FBI that shL' had never seen Francia alive and" she only watched the burning of the body because her husband threat- ened her life and her children's lives. But during the interview when she believed she would go to prison ''i for life or 25 years she began ai make up stories, a national expert In coerced confessions has testified. One of those stories was that the ' police would find Jason's body ih Clear Creek, near Winslow, accord-'" ing to the transcribed statement. ,KI! Jason has not been found. Police' are conducting a nationwide search, ' for a thin, tall blpid man in his 20s.'

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