Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

DA: 4 teens will face murder charges

PORTALES -- Four juveniles will be charged with second-degree murder in connection with the June 5 beating of a Portales man, District Attorney Brian Stover said Wednesday afternoon.

Police said five juveniles were involved in an altercation on June 5 with James Roper, 37, behind a Portales convenience store. Roper was critically injured in the incident and died Tuesday in a Lubbock hospital.

Police initially arrested one juvenile and charged him with aggravated battery in the case. A second juvenile was also charged, but had not been located as of Tuesday.

Stover said Tuesday that he believed three juveniles may have struck Roper during the altercation and that some claimed self-defense. Court records show Roper attempted to "speed walk" away from the teens, but they chased him and at least one youth punched Roper and kicked him repeatedly in the head until he was unconscious.

Prosecutors met with Portales police on Wednesday to reconsider charges after Roper died Tuesday following his removal from life support.

Stover said additional information would come from Portales police later Wednesday.

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