The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Local Briefs (Jan. 7)


January 6, 2006

Man indicted by grand jury on murder charges

A grand jury indicted Jim Bentley, 71, of Farmington on second-degree murder Friday in connection with the Christmas eve slaying of an Oklahoma man outside a Clovis motel, according to a release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Bentley is accused of shooting Joseph Phillips Jr., 48, a photograph package salesman from Guthrie, Okla., outside the Econo Lodge on Mabry Drive. He was also charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the release said.

Randy Knudson, Bentley’s lawyer, pled not guilty on behalf of his client at the Dec. 29 arraignment, and said Bentley was possibly threatened before he shot Phillips and may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Prosecutor Andrea Reeb said the grand jury charged Bentley with Phillips’ second degree murder because they didn’t find the crime was premeditated and wasn’t committed during the course of a felony.

Bentley has been in custody at the Curry County Adult Detention Center since Dec. 25 on $100,000 cash only bond.

Bentley faces 18 years in prison if convicted and will be arraigned on the charges within 30 days, the release said.

Man treated for multiple stab wounds, no arrests

A 24-year-old Clovis man was treated early Friday morning at Plains Regional Medical Center for multiple stab wounds and released, according to Clovis Police Lt. James Schoeffel.

Police found Carlos Corral, 24, around midnight Thursday at his apartment on 512 Reid St. with cuts to his face, right thigh, left hand and right forearm, Schoeffel said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the stabbing. However, two male suspects near the scene were arrested on unrelated charges, including possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and evading police officers, Schoeffel said.

A rental car leased by Corral was reported stolen shortly before the stabbing and handgun was located by police near the vehicle parked outside Corral’s apartment, Schoeffel said.


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