Cops & Courts: Cannon airman court -martialed in sodomy case

CNJ Staff

A Cannon Air Force Base airman on Thursday was found guilty of forcible sodomy, indecent assault and distribution of a controlled substance in a general court-martial, according to a press release from Cannon Public Affairs.

Senior Airman Donald Tipton of the 27th Medical Operations Squadron was given a dishonorable discharge and sentenced to 15 years confinement, the release said.

In March, Tipton was accused of providing prescription sleeping pills to another airman who had been drinking.

When the victim fell asleep in a dorm room on base, Tipton sexually assaulted him, the release said.

• • •

Attorneys for the Clovis News Journal are asking District Judge Joe Parker to reconsider his decision to dismiss a public records lawsuit filed against Curry County.

On Nov. 9, Parker said Freedom Communications, parent company of the Clovis News Journal, incorrectly sued Curry County when it sought the salaries of county employees.

Parker said the lawsuit should have listed the county’s board of commissioners as defendants, and whoever was in charge of the records, in this case former Curry County Manager Geneva Cooper.

In his motion to reconsider, News Journal attorney Max Best noted a similar case in which Curry County Attorney Stephen Doerr, then representing the City of Portales, filed a lawsuit against “Roosevelt County, a government entity.” In that case, former District Judge David Bonem allowed the city to amend its pleading.

“In a prior hearing, in this same court, the court has ruled (an amended pleading should be allowed),” Best said. “I’m not sure … what a prior judge has ruled is necessarily binding. We’re just pointing it out.”

The newspaper in the spring attempted to obtain 2003 salaries for all employees with the city, county, state, public schools and Clovis Community College for a featured package published in September.

The entities produced the information on request, with the exception of Curry County. The newspaper sued the county for the records and the records were delivered a few days after the lawsuit was filed.

The paper is asking for attorneys fees, plus a ruling on the merits of the case.

• • •

A Clovis man who ran into a Clovis elementary school with a gun while fleeing police in November of 2003 was denied a motion to reconsider a 4 1/2-year prison sentence, according to a press release from 9th Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler.

In October, Guillermo Gonzales, 23, of Clovis, was sentenced by District Judge Stephen Quinn on charges of unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school premises; aggravated fleeing a law officer; resisting arrest; driving on a revoked license; and leaving the scene of an accident, the press release said.

On Thursday, Judge Parker denied Gonzales’ request to reconsider Quinn’s sentence.

Gonzales led police on a high-speed chase on Nov. 18, 2003, through Clovis, running stop signs, the release said. Gonzales then left his vehicle and fled on foot, eventually entering Barry Elementary, where he was arrested, the release said.

Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ News Editor Mike Linn. He can be contacted at 763-6991 or: