A family changed by gun violence offers case study in New Mexico’s domestic violence problem

July 17 is the best of days in the Gaytan household, because it marks the birthday of 12-year-old Ian, who lives with his grandparents in a doublewide mobile home on a dirt road in Española. And July 17 is the worst of days, because it marks the anniversary of the shooting death of his 20-year-old mother, Jasmine Gaytan, at the hands of his father, Leroy Fresquez, Jr.

It
has been left to Olga Gaytan, a 55-year-old immigrant from
Guanajuato, Mexico, to make sense of the contradictions. “People
say I’m his grandma, but I always say ‘No, I’m his mother,’”
said Gaytan, who stepped in and adopted her grandson following the
2009 murder of her daughter. Jasmine
and Leroy had known each other ever since their days at Carlos F.
Vigil Middle School, the same school Ian now attends. It is the
school where the two of them met, and the school from which they both
dropped out in seventh grade.

As federal shutdown continues, funding deadlines for domestic violence efforts near

Organizations that provide shelter, advocacy and support for survivors of intimate partner violence, stalking and sexual assault will start losing money later this week because of both the government shutdown and because Congress let the Violence Against Women Act lapse over a month ago. Nearly 35 local agencies provide care in New Mexico, and each and every one receives federal money. Most of the services are funded by a combination of direct federal, state and local grants. The Department of Justice (DOJ), for example, provides grants, either directly or as part of the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission (CVRC). New Mexico operations will continue normally until Jan.

Feds fail to prosecute crimes in Indian Country

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice declined to prosecute more than a third of cases referred to them in Indian Country. That’s business as usual according to a new report by the department. The report reveals that U.S. attorneys’ offices left 37 percent of referred cases from Indian Country unprosecuted in 2017 — a figure slightly up from 2016 and steady with data since 2011, after then-President Barack Obama signed the Tribal Law and Order Act into law. The percentage continues to plateau despite funding for tribal law enforcement from the Trump administration. Lawmakers like Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., see the department’s prosecution rate as failing members of federally recognized tribes.

Winners and losers of the 2017 session

One of the biggest winners in the just concluded 60-day session of the New Mexico Legislature was a man who never set foot in the Roundhouse and, in fact, never came close to crossing the state border. His name is Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States. Republican Trump lost New Mexico in November by 8 percentage points, and Democrats control both the state Senate and House of Representatives. Even so, several pieces of legislation aimed at Trump failed to get traction in the Legislature. Senate Bill 118, sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, would have required presidential candidates to disclose five years of personal income taxes to get on the general election ballot in New Mexico.

Bill aimed to keep guns away from domestic abusers heads to governor

A bill that advocates say will keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers is headed to Gov. Susana Martinez’s desk. The state House of Representatives voted 43-22 on Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 259, which would require people under domestic violence restraining orders to relinquish their firearms.

The Senate concurred with the House’s changes Thursday. Groups such as New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence argued that the bill is a common-sense measure that will protect victims of domestic violence. But several Republicans on the House floor countered that the bill was flawed and would clog up state courts. Related: Senate OKs ban on openly carrying firearms in Capitol

The bill would only apply once a judge has issued a final order following a hearing.

Former APS deputy superintendent also faces domestic abuse charges

Timothy Jason Martinez hasn’t just been arrested for sexual assault of a child, but also two violent assault charges. Earlier this year, Denver police booked the now former Albuquerque Public Schools deputy superintendent on two assault charges, both involving men. “The allegation is that on Jan. 25 he was involved in altercation with person he had an intimate relationship with,” said Denver District Attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough. 
One of the allegations from the police report says Martinez struck a person with the side mirror of a car. Police issued a warrant for Martinez on Feb.