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King pleads not guilty to charges of impersonating a peace officer

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A former television reporter accused of posing as a law enforcement officer — including during two high-speed chases — has pleaded not guilty to several criminal counts.

When he appeared before Judge Jared Kallunki of New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court at an arraignment Monday, court documents state that Corey King, 27, of Roswell, waived a formal reading of charges and pleaded not guilty to four counts of impersonating a peace officer and two counts of reckless driving.

A former Roswell reporter for KRQE, King was issued a summons Jan. 28 on the six counts. Dianne Luce, district attorney for the 5th Judicial District and prosecutor in the case, said Wednesday each of the charges carries a sentence of up to 364 days, meaning he could receive a total sentence of up to six years.

Court documents state charges against King stem from a 2020 investigation by New Mexico State Police of several incidents where King had allegedly “been working in the functions of a peace officer.”

After the charges were filed, KRQE in a Jan. 29 story announcing the charges against King said that he no longer works for the station.

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King, according to court documents, is alleged to have driven recklessly in his 2014 Ford Explorer, with red and blue lights activated, on four separate occasions between March and June of 2020.

The first alleged incident occurred March 27, 2020, when King — driving in his Explorer — was reportedly spotted escorting traffic during a high-speed pursuit involving Chaves County sheriff’s deputies and New Mexico State Police on U.S. 380 east of Roswell.

In two other instances, court documents state, King allegedly activated his emergency lights while exceeding the speed limit and running traffic lights and stop signs. Those incidents are alleged to have occurred on May 5, 2020 when he was reportedly heading to the scene of a shooting, and again on June 4, 2020 during a police pursuit.

On April 11, 2020, court records state King reportedly impersonated a police officer when — with emergency lights flashing — he parked his Ford Explorer behind a pickup truck in the driveway of a 2100 block of Barnett Drive residence, which prevented the pickup truck driver from leaving.

King, who believed the driver of the pickup was intoxicated, then allegedly exited the vehicle wearing a brown tactical vest, badge and sidearm, as well as a radio and camera, giving him the appearance of a peace officer, according to court documents.

The investigation by State Police subsequently found deputies did cite King for impersonating a peace officer, but the Sheriff’s Office declined to move forward with the case.

When later questioned by State Police about the April 11, 2020 incident, court records state King said that at the time, he was wearing equipment from his job as a security guard and had just gotten off work. He added that he had activated the emergency lights on his Explorer at the time because he was scared.

Electronic court filings state that at Monday’s arraignment, Kallunki scheduled a jury trial in the matter for Oct. 26.

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

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