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

Military to handle case in airman's death

 


CLOVIS — The military will have jurisdiction in prosecuting the case of a shooting death July 5 in Clovis involving two Cannon Air Force Base airman, District Attorney Andrea Reeb announced Tuesday.

“After speaking with the military, law enforcement involved, and the victim’s family, I believe letting the military handle a case involving two of their own (airmen) is the best decision,” she said in a media alert.

“The military should be allowed in certain circumstances to handle cases that impact their organization. The military’s penalties are similar if not higher than the State’s penalties.”

In the pre-dawn hours of July 5, an airman called from a residence at Paseo Village in northeast Clovis and said his friend was shot in the head after the two of them were “playing” with a gun and drinking alcohol, officials said.

Marcus Jimenez, 23, of Olton, Texas, was transferred to Plains Regional Medical Center and then to a hospital near Lubbock, where he died July 10.

The airman who reported the incident will likely face criminal charges, Reeb said, but they hadn’t yet been filed. She said she didn’t want to comment on what charges the military may choose to pursue, but in recalling comparable incidents said she had encountered “a second-degree manslaughter type of case” previously.

Reeb said she believed the airman involved in the Jimenez shooting was being held in pre-trial detention on base for an unrelated matter.

The base’s media chief said Tuesday afternoon that more information would be released as it became available.

“I don’t give a lot of cases to the military, but in this case I met with the military and have been in contact with the victim’s family,” Reeb told The News. “This was something that they could definitely handle. No one had any objections to it, in the sense of talking to the victim’s family.”

Jimenez had been stationed at Cannon since November, his mother told The News.

 

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