ALBUQUERQUE POLICE SHOOTINGS
Albuquerque police shooting civil trial begins
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An Albuquerque police shooting of a 27-year-old man with schizophrenia that drew attention to the department's high number of shootings is in the limelight again.
The civil trial in the wrongful death case brought by the family of Christopher Torres began Monday with opening statements.
Officers C.J. Brown and Richard Hilger shot Torres in 2011 while serving an arrest warrant on a road rage charge. Authorities say Torres tried to punch Hilger and grabbed Hilger's gun.
Police later said officers were not aware of his mental illness when they went to the home.
After the shooting, the Torres family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Albuquerque police in state court.
The trial comes as Albuquerque police remain under a U.S. Justice Department investigation over excessive force cases.
Albuquerque barricade situation ends peacefully
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A barricade situation in southeast Albuquerque ended early Monday morning with a man being taken into custody after he took refuge in a crawl space.
Police say a woman who got out of the residence had called police from a neighbor's home to report that her husband beaten her and confined her in their residence since Thursday.
Police say 35-year-old Luiz Meza faces charges that include kidnapping and aggravated battery on a household member with a deadly weapon.
Family: New Mexico teen killed in Ciudad Juarez
LOVINGTON, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico family is trying to piece together the mystery of how their 19-year-old grandson died in Ciudad Juarez.
The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the family of Alejandro Kawaha of Lovington says he was killed in the troubled Mexico border town earlier this month and his body was found stuffed in a car trunk.
Jorje Kawaha (hoh-HEH' kah-WAH'-hah), Alejandro's grandfather, says Alejandro had been stabbed multiple times in the neck, chest, arms and head. He says Alejandro was in Juarez visiting his mother.
Kawaha says also found in the trunk was a 28-year-old friend of Alejandro.
The family says the El Paso-born Alejandro Kawaha had lived in Lovington for nearly three years and worked for several area companies including Banta Oilfield Services and Ferguson Construction.
CHILD DEATH-STEPFATHER ARREST
Stepfather of boy who died from abuse
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The stepfather of an Albuquerque boy who was allegedly kicked to death by his mother has been arrested on drug possession charges.
Albuquerque police arrested 41-year-old Steve Casaus on Sunday after finding drugs during a traffic stop.
Police say they were called to a possible DWI situation and identified Casaus as the driver.
They found a bag in his pocket with a substance that tested positive for cocaine and a bag with an ounce of marijuana in the vehicle.
Authorities say traces of meth and black tar heroin were also found and that there was intent to distribute.
Police say Casaus could be heard during 911 calls that occurred months before 9-year-old Omaree Varela's death in December.
Police have not said whether Casaus will be charged in that case.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-NEW MEXICO
State exchange denies insurers details on poor
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange is refusing to give commercial insurance companies personal information from thousands of the state's poor residents.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that health exchange lawyers recently decided that names, home addresses and phone numbers was proprietary and denied requests from insurance companies seeking to obtain the information.
Insurance companies sought the data to sell those residents policies.
The policies of about 10,400 people formerly insured under the low-cost State Covered Insurance program were canceled when it was discontinued in January, and they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.
They have been referred by the New Mexico Human Services Department to the state's online insurance marketplace created under the federal Affordable Care Act.
DEA warns of extortion scheme in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning New Mexico residents about an extortion scheme involving impostors posing as DEA agents.
Sean Waite (WAIT), assistant special agent in charge of the DEA's Albuquerque district office, says the scam appears to have made its way to New Mexico and the agency telling residents to watch out.
According to the scheme, victims who buy drugs over the internet or by telephone are contacted by fake DEA agents who tell the victims they have broken the law. The agency says the scam artists, who stole the victims' private information, then demand that the victims to pay a "fine."
Waite says no DEA agent will demand money from residents for any reason.
He says those contacted by suspected fake agents should call the DEA immediately.
New Mexico to proclaim 'Tibet Day'
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico plans to celebrate the anniversary of Tibet's rebellion against China.
State Secretary Veronica N. Gonzales will read a proclamation at the state Capitol on behalf of Gov. Susana Martinez, proclaiming Monday as "Tibet Day."
The day marks 55 years since thousands of Tibetans marched in Lhasa, Tibet's capital, and surrounded the home of the Dalai Lama in an uprising against the People's Republic of China.
Officials say a peace march is planned at the Santa Fe Plaza after the 10 a.m. ceremony in the Rotunda.
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