NM Children, Youth and Families Facing Lawsuit

The death of a Los Lunas infant in 2021 has led to a lawsuit against the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department, claiming it failed to safeguard the child.

According to the lawsuit, the department had six reports about the one-month-old boy being abused, with allegations of abuse both by the child’s mother and an old children.

The mother, Kiria Milton, pleaded guilty to a charge of child abuse resulting in death in August and is awaiting sentencing in December.

The lawsuit claims CYF and the state’s Behavioral Health Services failed to determine the child was at-risk.

A Presbyterian Hospital behavioral health assessment done on the mother showed she was at a “high risk” for harm to others. It also says she was at an “imminent” risk level for homicide.

Albuquerque Deaf Center Unveiled

Local residents who are deaf have a new site to get support after the Deaf Culture Center of New Mexico opened last week in Albuquerque.

Located in an apartment complex specifically designed to aid those who are deaf, the center will provide services such as health and nutrition education, technology training, and a food pantry.

The complex is one of five such residences in the country geared toward supporting those who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Woman Convicted of Killing Baby Free During Appeal

Although a Hobbs woman is appealing her conviction for child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, the New Mexico Court of Appeals granted her attorney’s request that she be remain free from prison until the appeal process is finished.

Alexis Avila was sentenced to 16 years after her conviction for tossing her newborn into a dumpster.

The Appellate Court originally allowed her release pending the appeal to the state Supreme Court, then denied the state’s motion to have her locked up until that hearing.

Murder Conviction Upheld

The New Mexico Supreme Court refused to overturn a 2022 murder conviction for a Roswell man.

Luis Jimenez appealed the conviction on the grounds that some photographs introduced during the trial should not have been permitted.

The murder occurred In 2012, as Jimenez and Joseph Barnhill robbed a residence. After the the house’s occupants pulled into the driveway, the family’s father, Saul Sanchez, was shot and killed during the pair’s escape. Jimenez was not charged until 2018 and was eventually sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder and aggravated battery.

Jiminez claimed Barnhill was the shooter and that Barnhill’s testimony should not have been given much weight.

Free Diabetes Help Available

With World Diabetes Day passing this week, the state Department of Health outlined some of the free services to those afflicted with the disease.

The department utilizes a variety of partnerships with community-based organizations, pharmacies, and other groups to provide management, prevention, and support services for not only those with diabetes but also those at risk for Type 2 diabetes.

“As a person managing Type 2 diabetes, I encourage New Mexicans to enroll in free programs and services, many of them done virtually, and in English and Spanish, to learn the risk factors of diabetes, how to prevent it, and, if diagnosed, how to manage it,” Department of Health Secretary Patrick Allen said in a press release. “Preventing and managing diabetes are key to improving the overall health and quality of life for so many New Mexicans.”

More information is available at pathstohealthnm.org and the Wellness Referral Center can be reached on weekdays at 505-850-0176 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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