Trial begins for man in Dona Ana jail killing

November 14, 2011 • State News

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Trial has begun for the last of three men charged with killing a prisoner found strangled to death at the Dona Ana County Detention Center nearly seven years ago.

Three prisoners who were in the cell with Philip T. Gantz, 32, of Roswell, were charged with killing him. Prosecutors said Gantz was assaulted because he was providing information about that area’s drug trade to authorities and was to testify in a pending federal case.

Co-defendants Glynn Dell Cook, 35, and Walter Melgar-Diaz, 28, entered plea agreements and are cooperating with federal prosecutors.

The trial for the third man charged, Paul O. Smalls, 44, is expected to finish this week, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported ( The federal Login to read more

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