08/01/2005

N.M. deputy pleads guilty to killing man who shot his partner

The Associated Press

ALAMOGORDO, N.M.- A sheriff's sergeant pleaded guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting a man who killed his partner.

Billy Anders, a 33-year law enforcement veteran, could face one to seven years in prison. State District Judge James W. Counts did not immediately set a sentencing date.

Anders shot Earl Flippen Dec. 18 after Flippen wounded him and killed his partner, Deputy Robert Hedman. The pair had responded to a home where they later learned Flippen killed his pregnant girlfriend.

Prosecutors alleged Flippen had already been wounded and was handcuffed when he was fatally shot.

District Attorney Scot Key said the case was a "horrendous situation."

"Even though it places our office and me personally in a position of distress in the community, part of our job is if we don't police the police, who does?" Key said.

Anders was indicted by a grand jury in March and resigned. His attorney, Robert Doughty II, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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