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

By Steve Hansen
The Staff of The News 

Fort Sumner woman pleads guilty


Last updated 7/30/2022 at 12:28pm

Steve Hansen

Candy Jo Webb listens on Wednesday as her guilty plea for second-degree murder is accepted by Ninth Judicial District Judge Benjamin Cross. Watching and listening remotely is her attorney, Tomas Benavidez.

CLOVIS - A Fort Sumner woman accused of killing her grandfather and hiding his remains in a toolbox in August 2020 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday before Judge Benjamin Cross in a Clovis courtroom.

Candy Jo Webb, 28, also pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of tampering with evidence and fraud.

Cross accepted the plea agreement and called for a sentencing hearing in 30 days.

Cross said the second-degree murder sentence could be as long 21 years in prison, plus court costs.

Under the plea agreement, the tampering with evidence charge was reduced from a first- or second-degree felony to a less serious third-degree felony,

Former Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb acted as a special prosecutor in the case at the request of Tenth Judicial District Attorney Tim Rose.

Tomas Benavidez, a Las Vegas attorney, represented Webb, who appeared in person at Wednesday's hearing.

Webb, who has been detained at the De Baca County Jail since her arrest last October, will continue to be held at the De Baca County Jail until the sentencing hearing, Cross said.

Webb is accused of killing her grandfather A. J. Harden in August 2020. Harden's body was found in October 2020 in a tool chest.

Court records show that Webb has said her grandfather, 83, asked her to kill him and she gave him Xanax and Ambien until his heart stopped.

Records also show Webb told a boyfriend that Harden died in his sleep and that Webb had notified the Fort Sumner fire department to retrieve his body. But records show no such emergency medical service.


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