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King pleads not guilty to impersonating peace officer

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A former local television reporter accused of impersonating a law enforcement officer, including during two high-speed pursuits, has pleaded not guilty to several criminal counts.

Corey King, 27, of Roswell, at his arraignment hearing in Chaves County Magistrate Court Monday, entered a formal plea of not guilty to three counts of impersonating a peace officer and two counts of reckless driving, according to court documents.

Judge E.J. Fouratt ruled King, who was issued a summons for the charges on Jan. 28 and not arrested, can remain free on his own recognizance while awaiting trial. His out-of-state travel during that period will be limited to work-related purposes.

Charges against King, a former KRQE Roswell Bureau reporter, were the result of an investigation by New Mexico State Police last June of several alleged incidents where, court documents state, King had been “working in the functions as a peace officer.”

A story on the KRQE website dated Jan. 29 announcing the charges against King stated that he no longer works for the network. Additional attempts to reach KRQE were not successful.

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King is alleged to have driven recklessly with red and blue emergency lights activated on his black 2014 Ford Explorer on four occasions between March and June 2020.

During a March 27, 2020 high-speed pursuit carried out by Chaves County Sheriff’s deputies and state police on U.S. 380 in Chaves County, court documents state King was allegedly escorting traffic while driving his Explorer which had red and blue emergency lights flashing.

Weeks later in the early morning hours of April 11, 2020, King reportedly parked behind a pickup truck in the driveway of a 2100 block of Barnett Drive residence and prevented its driver from leaving.

Court documents state King followed the pickup, whose driver he believed was intoxicated, and parked at the end of the driveway with emergency lights activated. King then reportedly emerged from his Explorer wearing a brown tactical vest, badge, a firearm on his hip, as well as a radio and camera, giving the appearance that he was a law enforcement officer.

After Chaves County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene, he was issued a citation for impersonating a peace officer, but according to court documents, the sheriff’s office opted to not move forward with the case.

King, when later interviewed, explained that the equipment he was wearing was from his job as a security guard, and that at the time he had just gotten off work. He later added that he had turned on the emergency lights on his Explorer because he was scared.

In two other incidents that were investigated, King reportedly activated emergency lights on his Explorer while failing to yield to stop signs, traffic lights and driving above the speed limit: one in May 2020 when he was allegedly heading to the scene of a shooting, and the other during a June 4, 2020 police pursuit.

Emily Fry, chief deputy district attorney, said Wednesday that no dates have yet been set for future hearings or an eventual trial.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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