Suspect awaits grand jury hearing

Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — Jerry Fuller, one of two Portales residents accused of killing Odis and Doris Newman, is back in Portales and awaits a grand jury hearing today.

Fuller, 32, had been hospitalized since March 8, when he was shot by police during his arrest. He was airlifted to Covenant Hospital in Lubbock for treatment after suffering three gunshot wounds to the chest. He was there until Wednesday night.

Fuller is one of four people arrested in connection with the Newmans’ deaths on March 2. He faces two counts of open murder. Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler has said Fuller may also face kidnapping charges.

“We won’t advise of the charges prior to presenting them,” Chandler said, “but there will be additional charges.”
Stanley Bedford, 41, faces two open murder charges and two first-degree kidnapping charges in the Newmans’ deaths. He was arraigned Wednesday, but was not present, and a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.

Fuller will probably be arraigned this afternoon, Chandler said.

Archie Crawford, 27, and Cynthia Peninger, 22, are facing charges of possession of stolen property in connection with the case. All four will have a grand jury hearing at 9 a.m. today, officials said.

The grand jury will determine if evidence is sufficient for trial, and, if so, what degree of murder charges Fuller and Bedford will face.

No new information on the case has been made public since the filing of arrest warrants for Fuller and Bedford last week.

According to court documents, the Newmans were alive when they were locked in the trunk of their car on the night of March 2. Their bodies were discovered in the trunk of the vehicle, which was set on fire, the next morning. The Newmans’ home was set on fire the afternoon of March 3.