Dec. 17, 2006 Letters to the Editor

Homicide takes trust as victim
I did not have the opportunity to speak at the sentencing of James Smith on Wednesday, so I would like to talk about a couple of things now.
I was the crime-scene technician for the investigation of Laura McNauhgton’s murder, and have had the unfortunate task of working too many murders in the Clovis area.
During this investigation, I know that many of the investigators were affected by what happened to Laura, and it just got worse as more information was uncovered.
Usually we as police officers and investigators try and disassociate ourselves from the investigations that we are involved in, but this one was hard to do that with.
When the investigation started, we didn’t know what happened to Laura, and like prosecutor Matt Chandler said, the community was held hostage. When more information was found and a suspect was developed, I believe the hostage taking continued.
As children, we are taught to trust certain people; police officers, teachers and doctors are among those people. Every time a person in one of these positions commits crimes against innocent people, it takes a little more freedom away from us and our children and creates distance between us and our neighbors. We become skeptical about people we don’t know and don’t trust anyone any more. We hide behind locked doors and guarded postures and even worry when our children go outside our own houses to play.
My heart goes out to the loved ones who lost Laura, and I am proud I was able to assist in bringing some closure to them.
My heart also goes out to the people of this community, for James Smith has taken something away from all of us.

Keith Farkas

Soldier screenings necessary on return
Our soldiers need our help.
The December issue of National Geographic magazine has a lengthy article with pictures of those seriously injured. Of the wounded more than 20 percent have suffered from brain injury. They need immediate screening after being subjected to explosives or bombs to learn if the injury is mild, moderate or serious. Medical experts have pressed the Department of Defense to screen returning veterans, but the department has only recently begun limited screening.
We cannot accept this, and we cannot let this become political or both parties will mess it up.
The preamble to our Constitution says the people hold the power. That means you. That means me.
Those veterans are ours, and we want the best for them.
Contact the Department of Defense through its Web site at:
Tell them screening must be done immediately for brain injury on all returning veterans.

Dona Cook