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Suspect pleads not guilty to charges in fatal crash

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John Irvin Ensor

A man charged in connection with a two-vehicle collision on Easter Sunday that left a teenage driver and her younger sister dead has pleaded not guilty to several criminal counts.

John Irvin Ensor, 33, of Roswell, entered a formal plea of not guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide and five other charges related to the crash at an arraignment Monday in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court in Chaves County, Taylor Jaggers, deputy district attorney and prosecutor in the case, said.

Ensor also pleaded not guilty at the arraignment to one count each of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; driving while license revoked; limit on overtaking on the left; failure to register or title a vehicle as required; and no proof of insurance, in relation to the April 4 crash south of Roswell.

On that afternoon, according to court documents, Ensor was traveling southbound on New Mexico Highway 2 near Crockett Road and trying to pass vehicles at a high rate of speed when the 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada he was driving crashed head-on into a 2009 Ford Focus. The 17-year-old female driver of the Ford Focus and her 12-year-old sister, who was a passenger in the vehicle, died in the crash. Both were from Dexter.

Ensor — who also sustained injuries — was transported to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, where he was treated and subsequently released. He was later found and arrested April 13 at a South Hobson Road residence.

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Court filings state that New Mexico State Police investigators reportedly found a syringe on the floorboard of the Bravada that contained a brown substance that tested positive for the presence of a “methamphetamine and/or fentanyl compound.” While en route to the hospital, court records state, Ensor allegedly told personnel in the ambulance he had consumed alcohol earlier in the day.

Ensor, who was on probation at the time of the crash, is currently being held in pre-trial detention while awaiting trial. Judge Dustin K. Hunter on Monday scheduled Ensor’s jury trial for Sept. 28, according to electronic court records.

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

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