Car chase ends in DWI charge

Cops and Courts

A late Thursday night police chase through Clovis streets led to the arrest of Randal Pruitt, 40, of Clovis, on a number of charges including driving while intoxicated.
According to a police press release, Officer Brian Encinas attempted to stop Pruitt’s vehicle about 11 p.m. Thursday for speeding on the 900 block of North Prince Street. After a short pursuit, the vehicle crashed into a brick fence at the 1000 block of North Lea Street and the driver fled on foot.
Pruitt had three charges of driving while intoxicated pending in court at the time of the crash and has now been charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, driving while license revoked, driving left of center, no insurance, failure to yield at a stop sign, speeding, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
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The case of Warren Nuckols, the Clovis businessman accused of selling tobacco to minors who alleges that police entrapped him by sending a person into his store who acted like a shoplifter to distract him while a minor made a tobacco purchase, has been postponed again.
Nuckols, owner of the Quick Stop convenience store on the corner of 13th and Thornton, was initially charged in Curry County Magistrate Court after a June 11 tobacco sting operation conducted by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. Nuckols’ trial had been scheduled for Dec. 5 after a number of postponements, but on Dec. 3 was transferred to Curry County District Court. He had been scheduled for an arraignment plea and disposition on Jan. 14 but that action has now been postponed again. No rescheduling date has yet been set.
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Two Curry County homicide trials have been scheduled for Feb. 9 to 13, but 9th Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter said at least one of them will be rescheduled.
Dominic Murphy, 25, is accused in the February 2003 homicide of Alex Rodriguez, 29, and Wesley Griest, 49, and faces a jury trial in Curry County District Court on two counts of first-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, tampering with evidence, and bribery of a witness.
Alesia M. Thomas, 21, an airman at Cannon Air Force Base, faces charges of first-degree murder and abuse of a child resulting in great bodily harm or death in connection with the death of her child in 2002.
Court records show both cases have been assigned to Judge Joe Parker. Carter said Parker will determine which of the two takes priority and the other will be rescheduled for a later date.
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After 10 minutes of debate on Monday, a Curry County District Court jury found a Clovis woman guilty of trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine in an incident dating back to Aug. 24, 2000, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter.
Denise Marie Patrick, 28, of Clovis faces up to 12 years in prison. Judge Joe Parker presided over the one-day trial in which deputy district attorney Bryan L. McCay prosecuted. Parker deferred sentencing until a later date.
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Clovis resident Sam Murphree, 20, pleaded guilty Jan. 6 in Curry County District Court to drug and burglary charges, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter. Judge Joe Parker ordered Murphree to undergo a 60-day diagnostic evaluation before sentencing.
Murphree was accused of being an accessory to burglarizing a Clovis residence on April 4 and stealing firearms and jewelry worth more than $10,000. He agreed to plead guilty to accessory to aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon, larceny over $2,500, conspiracy to burglary, receiving stolen property, distribution of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.
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A Clovis man pleaded guilty Jan. 5 in Curry County District Court to five counts of auto burglary and five counts of larceny in connection with a series of auto burglaries between Jan. 21 and June 2, 2003, at Hamilton Big Country Ford, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter.
James Allen Parks, 24, also admitted that he had two prior felony convictions and was determined by Judge Stephen Quinn to be a habitual offender, potentially adding a number of years to what would normally be a maximum sentence of 15 years. Parks will be sentenced at a later date.

Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ staff writer Darrell Todd Maurina. He can be contacted at 763-6991 or:
darrell_maurina@link.freedom.com