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

Pages past, March 10: Jail escapee shot to death in Texas


Last updated 3/16/2021 at 5:41pm

On this date …

1941: Fire gutted a Portales home at 1201 Ave. O.

T.J. Frazier told officials he was hired to paint and clean up the house so it could be rented. He said he lit a cigar while painting, which ignited the paint.

Frazier escaped through a window and was not injured.

1971: A man who escaped the Roosevelt County jail two days earlier was shot and killed as he fled the scene of an alleged attempted burglary in Slaton, Texas.

Officials said Carl Davis, 33, and another inmate, William Jacobs, 29, had used a “short segment of sawblade” to saw through a lock and escape the Portales jail. They then broke into a number of offices in the courthouse where they stole cash and tools, stole more money from the bus station, then stole a 1969 Caprice Chevrolet with a full tank of gas from the Cooper-Hobbs Motor Co. in Portales.

The stolen car was soon located in Morton, Texas, where officials believed the pair split up. Jacobs’ whereabouts remained unknown.

Davis was found hiding under a car outside Champion Jewelry in Slaton. A patrol officer thought the car suspicious and soon learned it had been stolen. When the officer approached the car, he found Davis, who began running down an alley. The officer, Randall Holley, said he fired a warning shot and then saw the suspect reach for his right rear pocket. Fearing the man was reaching for a weapon, Holley shot Davis in the back of the head, killing him.

Davis’ criminal record went back almost 20 years. He’d been sentenced to five years in prison as a juvenile after a grand larceny conviction.

He was awaiting transfer to state prison when he escaped the Portales jail after pleading guilty to burglaries in Elida, Dora, Portales and Causey.

Officials said he was unarmed when he was killed outside the jewelry store.

Sounds of music …

1966: Eighteen bands and two orchestras were scheduled to compete for ratings at Eastern New Mexico University.

Bands from Melrose, Fort Sumner, Portales, Tucumcari and Clovis were among those registered. Artesia and Hobbs were sending orchestras.

Floren Thompson, director of bands at ENMU, was chairman of the festival. Thompson received multiple awards during his music career at Eastern, which began in 1950 and continued through the 1980s. He died in 2002 at age 80.

Hatch is a hero …

1981: A two-run double by first baseman Harold Hatch had led Portales past Clovis, 4-1, in a high school baseball matchup at Clovis’ Bell Park.

Four Portales pitchers held Clovis to one run on five hits.

Pages Past is compiled by David Stevens. Contact:

[email protected]


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