Judge Mitchell recuses himself in McClelland case

Tucumcari Pharmacist Bob McClelland on April 20 waived arraignment in Tenth Judicial District Court before Judge Albert Mitchell.

On that same day, Mitchell recused himself from the case.

A court official said a new judge is likely to be appointed in about two weeks.

McClelland is charged with two counts of unlawfully obtaining or attempting to obtain dangerous drugs, one count of violating the controlled substances act, and another count of forgery.

All charges are fourth-degree felonies, the least serious felony classification in the New Mexico judicial system.

The charges against McClelland involve prescriptions that were alleged to be improperly written for a member of McClelland’s family, according to a “statement of probable cause” signed by Detective Charles Bouyer.

The statement includes evidence gathered by State Drug Investigator Bobby Padilla.

McClelland and his attorney have said the charges stem from a family dispute.

McClelland has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The incidents are alleged to have occurred in February and March 2015.

On Feb. 17, McClelland waived a preliminary hearing and posted a $15,000 unsecured appearance bond in the magistrate court, records show.

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